What you need to know before shopping this holiday season
As the holiday gift giving season approaches, practical shoppers may be looking for technology that can keep their loved ones safe on the roads. From simple apps that can send an alert to the parents to a speeding teenager to new vehicles with fully integrated car accident prevention technology, Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer some great deals on a variety of automobile safety systems.
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Technology that can be used in any vehicle – simple solutions to prevent dangerous accidents
If you’re not looking to purchase a whole new car this year, there are still many choices for pre-crash systems that can be added to any vehicle.
Wireless rearview cameras
These devices consist of a camera that is mounted on the license plate and a monitor installed inside the car. Once you connect the system to a power source, any car can be equipped with lifesaving backup camera technology. In addition to making parking a breeze, studies show that these systems dramatically reduce collisions that occur while in reverse.
Apps that change the game
Like any other problem in life, at this point there’s probably an app to help and vehicle safety is no exception. GPS apps with voice commands ensure that drivers don’t need to take their eyes off the road and they can even assist with upcoming hazards like slow traffic and detours that drivers wouldn’t usually see ahead of time.
Other apps, like Vlingo, will read text messages and emails to the driver and respond to voice commands while the vehicle is in motion. There is even an app called Speed Demon that parents can install on a new driver’s phone to send an alert whenever the teen exceeds the speed limit.
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Not necessarily new, but trustworthy–OnStar and aftermarket breathalyzers
Although some cars come standard with OnStar crash reporting technology, the system can be added to any car along with a subscription for the service. Likewise, even when it’s not required by law a concerned parent can add a breathalyzer to any vehicle to make sure any driver who gets behind the wheel is sober before the vehicle hits the road.
Cars with collision avoidance systems – the newest tech in vehicle safety
It’s no secret that dealerships offer some of the best deals on new vehicles during the holidays while they try to clear the lot for next year’s models. If you’re looking to purchase a new (or new to you) car, why not make sure to buy one with the latest features designed to keep your family safe?
What is crash avoidance technology?
Collision avoidance systems includes a wide number of systems of features designed to prevent accidents. It can get confusing because each manufacturer uses a slightly different name to describe similar features, but no matter what it’s called the research is indisputable that this technology is making the road safer for drivers and pedestrians. From systems that simply warn drivers to technology that can take over steering and braking to avoid an accident, vehicles have come a long way in keeping the roads safe.
What is Autonomous Emergency Braking?
Automatic braking is one of the most effective kinds of collision mitigation systems and this technology offers a variety of features. Although this technology will be standard in most new cars by 2022, there are still many options already on the market.
Rear automatic braking will slow or stop a car when it is in reverse, usually by using cameras and/or sensors to monitor objects behind the vehicle. These systems are shown to reduce reverse accidents by 78%, a significant number when paired with the fact that these collisions tragically often involved children.
Forward automatic braking comes in two forms: Crash imminent braking (CIB) will apply the brakes when the system senses an impending collision regardless of what action a driver takes. In contrast, dynamic brake support will kick in when a driver applies the brakes but not enough to prevent the accident. Both of these systems can employ pedestrian detection to reduce accidents between vehicles and people.
What is front crash prevention?
Also called forward collision avoidance, front crash prevention became optional in new cars after 2011. These systems use cameras or lasers to monitor a car’s speed and the objects in front of it. When the car gets too close, a forward collision warning system will alert the driver with a sound and sometimes a vibration. When these systems are paired with autonomous emergency braking, studies show that front to rear collisions can be reduced by as much as 50%.
What other features should I look for?
The technology of collision warning systems is improving every year new vehicle models are released. In fact, 20-50% of drivers that use any type of crash avoidance system report that the technology helped prevent an accident. For example, adaptive cruise control can sense when a car is approaching an object too quickly and apply the brakes before a collision occurs. Adaptive headlights can move up and down and sometimes even side to side to ensure that drivers have the widest view of the road in front of them, even on corners.
Lane departure warning systems and blind spot detection can warn a driver of an impending sideswipe collision, and some systems will even step in to control steering and braking to prevent an accident. And even when all this systems can’t prevent a collision, the newest cars on the market are often equipped with automatic 911 notification, which notifies emergency personnel of the location of the accident.
Some of these systems may not come cheap when buying a new car, but the research shows that the future of accident prevention will be well worth the cost in lives saved. This Institute for Highway Safety has developed a helpful rating system to help buyers understand the features of today’s newest cars, backed up by research into the effectiveness of each system. Whatever you decide, if you’re buying a new car this year you can rest a little easier knowing the future of collision prevention is already here.