Vehicle Features That Can Save Your Life
While cars that drive themselves are still centuries away, many manufacturers have stepped up by including features that are convenient and have the potential to prevent accidents. Many of these features, such as forward-collision warning, have been available on luxury vehicles but in recent years, these features are becoming standard on the average car. ConsumerReports.org has recently compiled some compelling information on these features and how these new additions may save your life.
What the Studies Show
One of the most popular advanced safety features that is being included on the average vehicle is crash-avoidance systems. These systems include a number of sensors, lasers, cameras, and both short and long-range radars to monitor what is going on around the car. When a potential collision is detected, the system will then engage different warnings in an attempt to avoid an accident – these warnings usually begin as lights and sounds and will eventually move to deploying the brakes should the driver not do so.
Testing done by ConsumerResports.org showed that these systems walk a fine line between being helpful and being an annoying computerized back-seat driver. For example, if the system emits too many warnings or false alarms, drivers may be tempted to turn them off, making the system useless. Even though this may be the case, it is important to remember that these crash-avoidance systems have a very high net benefit when thinking about avoiding collisions and driver and passenger safety.
What Features Are Best
While crash-avoidance systems are becoming more popular, there are still a number of vehicle makes and models that do not include them as well as a slew of other available safety features. Even though all drivers want to do everything they can to be safe behind the wheel, the reality is that many drivers do not need all of the safety features that are available on the market today. ConsumerReports.org collected information on a number of these features and evaluated what is necessary and what is not.
Autobrake and FCW (Forward-Collision Warning) are two of the most popular safety features. In general, the ConsumerReports.org drivers appreciated this feature, but the autobrake was slightly too sensitive. Given a choice, drivers should opt for FCW that allows them to adjust their following distance. Other features drivers appreciated and agree other drivers should aim to have included in their new vehicles were blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic sensors, pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning.
Some of the features that left a little to be desired by may be useful to some included adaptive headlights and drowsiness detection. Drivers had mixed reactions with the adaptive headlight feature – while the wider view for the lights was helpful, the swiveling motion of the light was distracting. Drowsiness detection is another feature that could go either way – while none of the ConsumerReports.org drivers experienced any problems, they also did not have a need for it at the time.