New Car Safety Features to Look out For
Car manufacturers are paving the way with innovative safety features designed to keep you as safe as possible while on the road. If you’re in the market for a new car, you’ll know how hard it is to keep track of all the new car safety features available – let alone understand their importance.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest safety technologies, most of which are available to you either as standard or an option for new car models.
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
A tyre pressure monitoring system senses loss of pressure in individual tyres and provides a visual warning to the driver, most often on the dashboard. While this feature is primarily for safety purposes, a soft tyre can also accelerate tyre wear and reduce fuel efficiency, making a tyre pressure monitoring system a hugely beneficial feature for your new car.
Lane Departure Warning & Assist
Lane monitoring uses road markings to detect if you’re drifting out of lane without indicating to do so and will alert you with a sound, flashing light or steering wheel vibration depending on the car make. Some more advanced systems even offer corrective steering or braking in the event of no action. This feature favours motorways and main roads so may not be suitable for those who spend a considerable amount of time driving on country roads.
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
AEB is a feature which detects a potential crash with another vehicle and offers preventative alerts and actions. AEB systems first try to avoid the impact by warning you that action is needed. If no action is taken and a collision is still expected, the system will apply the brakes to prevent the collision or reduce the impact speed. AEB is available for all driving requirements including; a low speed system suitable for avoiding collisions while travelling in congested areas, a high speed system suitable for detecting potential obstacles when travelling at speed and a pedestrian system which alerts you to pedestrian movement in your path.
Blind Spot Warning System
Serving as a second set of eyes, this feature can detect a vehicle in any one of your blind spots and provides an audible or visual alert, most often displayed in your wing mirror. With certain car models, a more urgent warning is provided if you indicate to change lanes when a vehicle is driving in a blind spot. As crossovers are continually growing in popularity in Ireland, this feature would prove useful for those getting accustomed to driving a larger car.
Rearview cameras are becoming more and more popular as a standard safety feature on new cars. This feature provides a live feed of what’s behind your car once it’s in reverse gear, viewable from a screen on your dashboard. Not only is a rearview camera handy when getting out of tight spaces, it also helps to ensure that you don’t hit any objects behind you.
Traffic Sign Recognition
A traffic sign recognition system consists of a forward-facing camera which scans the road for traffic signs. Any changes detected in traffic signs, namely changes to the speed limit, are then displayed in real time on your dashboard. Some car models can also monitor the speed limit through your sat nav system in the absence of traffic signs. With a lot to watch out for when driving on the roads, a constant display of the speed limit could be invaluable if you happen to miss the last speed sign.
Driver Alertness Monitoring
The RSA estimates that driver fatigue is a contributory factor in as many as 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland every year. While the RSA have issued helpful advice for tired drivers, car brands are also playing a part to help combat driver fatigue. Driver alertness monitoring is designed to analyse your characteristics as a driver and identify signs of inattention or drowsiness. This may include behaviour such as drifting lanes, sudden deceleration or a long period of driver inactivity. In the event of suspected driver drowsiness, an audible warning or visual alert is provided. Some car models also vibrate the steering wheel to ensure the driver regains attention.