Backing up your vehicle in a crowded parking lot is stressful, especially when children, shoppers or objects seemingly appear from nowhere. When you're simply trying to get out of your parking spot without hitting anyone or anything, backup cameras can be a literal life saver. The backup camera on your back bumper sends video to a monitor on your dashboard. Many of these monitors overlay graphics to show the path of your vehicle. These devices are so useful, the US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) passed a law that will require all new vehicles under 10,000 to have a backup camera by 2018.
Forward Collision Warning
Even careful drivers can be in the wrong place in the wrong time. Forward collision warnings vary between vehicles, but most often use all-weather radar, lasers or cameras to detect oncoming crashes. Depending on the vehicle, these systems alert the driver to act or take action automatically through brakes or steering. You can expect this to be a standard feature in new vehicles by 2022.
Blind Spot Detector
We've all had close calls with other vehicles in our blind spots. Even if you're watching the road, you can forget to check your mirrors and blind spots when switching lanes or turning. However, blind spot detectors are an increasingly popular safety feature in many modern cars. Located below your side-view mirrors, a small light appears on the mirror to show that a vehicle is present in your blind spot. This makes it easy to check your blind spot before changing lanes or turning.
Inflatable Seat Belts
Using the power of airbags and seatbelts, inflatable seatbelts are designed to protect the most vulnerable passengers in the back rows of a vehicle. Children and the elderly are often the most susceptible to neck, head and chest injuries when sitting in the back seat. A sensor on the vehicle senses the severity of the crash and then adjusts amount of air the belt needs to protect everyone in the car. Although only a few vehicles have inflatable seat belts, but it will likely grow in popularity as new models roll out with this feature.
According to NHTSA, 37 percent of transportation fatalities in the US are caused by a vehicle driving off the road or drifting into a different lane. A lane-keep system has two components to help solve this problem. The lane departure warning buzzes or illuminates when your vehicle has left the lane to let you correct yourself. Lane-keep assistance will help the car stay on course with small amounts of counter-steering force. The good news is this feature is already available for an extra cost in many standard vehicles.
If you're driving home at night after a long day, you might start to get sleepy. This problem is more common than you'd think. NHTSA reports that between 2005 and 2009, an average of 83,000 people crashed each year from drowsy driving. The new drowsiness alert system, already available in some luxury cars, learns and monitors your steering habits and reaction times. Often, drowsy drivers stop steering or develop a slow reaction time. When your vehicle detects this problem, it will illuminate a warning to take a break. With luck, this will become a common feature in most cars and potentially save thousands of lives.
Cutting edge safety features on your car can do wonders to help you stay alert and safe. With luck and time, all cars on the road will become safer for drivers and pedestrians alike. If you've been injured in a vehicle accident or from a faulty safety feature in Utah, talk to Handy & Handy Accident & Injury Attorneys today to discuss your case.