They say your chances of perishing in a car are higher than in an airplane. True enough, approximately 1.3 million people die each year of road accidents. Plane crashes, on the other hand, kill only hundreds of people every year. It’s still a grim statistic, but it shows the significant difference between car safety and aircraft safety. You may be 35,000 feet in the air, but the latest aviation tech makes sure only bad turbulence is the worst that could happen.
But the solution to the high volume of road fatalities isn’t making flying cars. In fact, cars already have everything it needs to keep drivers and passengers safe. In most cases, the only thing that causes accidents is human error.
Therefore, disciplined drivers are the ultimate key to ensuring road safety. But since accidents often involve two parties, all drivers should have something to protect themselves with in case they’re faced by a reckless driver.
Circumstances out of our control can affect our safety as well. Hence, technology is crucial in car safety. Here are the latest innovations in that department, and how they help drivers and pedestrians:
1. Electronic Stability Control
Electronic stability control (ESC) reinforces the tires’ traction. It comes useful when you slide or skid after making a turn. The ESC is connected to a series of sensors that detect wheel speed, steering angle, sideways motion, and rotation. Hence, if your car slides outside of its lane uncontrollably, the ESC will engage the brake on one or more wheels. It reduces the engine power needed to pull your car back on course.
Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups benefit the most from ESC. The tech became a standard on all cars with a 2012 model, so if you own a car older than that, it doesn’t likely have ESC integrated yet.
2. Brake Assist
The brake assist feature activates if you make a panic brake as opposed to a natural, gradual stop. Together with anti-lock brakes, they allow threshold braking without locking up the wheels. This safety feature was developed to help drivers who don’t apply the brakes as hard as they should during a panic stop. To be fair, it can be hard to go against the teaching that you shouldn’t step on the brakes too hard and leave skid marks. But in a life or death situation, bending the rules becomes acceptable. Thanks to the brake assist, drivers can panic stop without guilt or hesitation.
3. Automatic Light System
Some drivers forget to turn on their headlights when driving through a tunnel, or when night falls. It can be hard to believe, but when a city is well-lit and you’re surrounded by cars with their headlights on, you might mistakenly believe that your lights are on, too. You may only realize your mistake when a collision is impending.
Thanks to the automatic light system, these unpleasant surprises won’t happen anymore. The safety feature lights up your car on its own as soon as you enter a tunnel or any dark path. When you emerge into brightness again, the lights will also shut off on their own.
4. Forward-Collision Warning System
This feature scans for other cars ahead using cameras, radars, or sensors. It will alert you if a vehicle from the opposite direction is headed your way. Even if the offending vehicle is mere minutes away from crashing into yours, the FCW will give you enough time to react. You may swerve if no other vehicle is occupying the other lane, for example. If you have no way of avoiding the impending crash, the FCW can pre-charge your brakes and tighten your seatbelt. With the help of your airbags, your chances of getting killed by the crash can be reduced dramatically.
5. Night Vision
Not many cars have night vision viewfinders yet because the technology is still expensive. Night vision viewfinders allow you to see pedestrians, animals, and other vehicles beyond your headlights’ and tail lights’ reach. As such, you can avoid running over anything and anyone, and you can react ahead of time if another vehicle is about to crash into yours.
Sadly, not many drivers know that their cars have these safety features installed. New trucks also have them, yet fatalities from truck accidents continue to run high. Big trucks are one of the biggest threats on the road, so watch out for them the most especially at night. Thanks to the latest safety tech, you’re not likely to die or become disabled if a truck crashes your car. Your experienced truck accident lawyer will ensure that the offending driver pays back the damage to your car and health and that you can get behind the wheel again.