Most Effective Car Safety Features Of The Last Decade

In the last decade or so, various landmark car safety features have been introduced. As per the statistics of National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 15,383 lives were saved in 2006 because of the use of seat belts. In the same year, frontal air bags saved 2,796 lives and motorcycle helmets saved 1,658 lives. If the use of seat belts and motorcycle helmets had been 100%, an additional 5,441 lives could have been saved from seat belt use and 752 from motorcycle helmets.

Fortunately, safety technology is on the rise. The following are the most effective car safety features developed and implemented over the last decade.

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – During high speed turns or while driving on slippery roads, ESC helps the driver retain control of his or her vehicle. It also corrects steering and braking response by comparing it to the driver’s intended direction. Rollover can be prevented by this feature in SUVs, pickup trucks and vans. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), single vehicle crashes can be reduced by almost 40% with the help of ESC.
  • Lane Departure Warning – Results can be fatal if the driver drifts off the road or into another lane. A Lane Departure Warning is usually in place to alert the drivers and keep them from drifting out of their lanes. It is mounted near or on the rearview mirror and detects when the driver starts departing from his or her lane. Usually, some audible sound, a visual warning or a vibration of the steering wheel is used to alert the driver.
  • Collision Warning and Automatic Braking – This system works in a similar way to adaptive cruise control and uses radar. Whenever the system senses that the traffic is slowing or stopping ahead of the vehicle, it sounds an alert. If the driver fails to react, automatic brakes stop the vehicle, preventing a collision.
  • Blind Zone Warning – When another vehicle approaches the vehicle’s sides, the system senses it and uses an audible alarm or a warning light to alert the driver. Any vehicles in the driver’s blind spot can, thus, be tracked.
  • Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS) – ABS prevents the wheels from becoming locked in placed. Even when the surface is wet, rough or full of obstacles, greater steering control is provided by this system. This is especially useful during winter when pavements can have slush, snow, or ice.
  • Adaptive Headlights – On dark roads, when the driver needs to take a curve, these headlamps respond to the front wheels and illuminate the path ahead of the vehicle rather than simple pointing in a forward direction.

Sources:
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810869.pdf
http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4105.pdf
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/top-6-active-car-safety-features.aspx
http://www.whiplashprevention.org/Consumers/WhiplashPrevention/Pages/GeneralCarSafety.aspx