7 Car Safety Features To Look For When Buying A New Car

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Safety is a top priority for many prospective buyers in car showrooms, but as modern technology evolves and changes, so do safety standards and possibilities for vehicle manufacturers. Modern cars offer features which leave older models in the dust, so if it has been a while since your last upgrade, make sure to keep an eye out for these features. 

1. Fatigue Monitoring Systems 

On the road, drowsiness is a bigger threat to your safety than you may realize. In fact, you may not even realize you’re feeling tired until you’ve lost control of your car or veered off course. Before you get to that point, fatigue monitoring systems in premium new car models can detect your tiredness by measuring your steering inputs and pedal movements and remind you to pull over. It’s a game-changing initiative for anyone who regularly drives alone, outside of daylight hours, or over long distances, and likely to trickle down into standard vehicle design soon enough. 

2. Reverse Cameras 

Good vision is critical when you’re in the driver’s seat, and any technology designed to increase visibility is a great improvement. Reverse cameras have become a popular inclusion for many new car models, as they allow drivers better rear-vision than standard mirrors, an extremely important consideration for parents of young children in particular. As long as you use the camera footage as an additional measure to regular shoulder checks, you’ll have the best chance of avoiding any nasty surprises. 

3. Blind-Spot Warning 

If you’ve ever forgotten to check over your shoulder before changing lanes, this update could make a world of difference. Similar to a reverse camera, the technology relies on sensors to alert you when there is something hanging in your blind spot. This extra safety measure could save you from dangerous situations in the split second before they happen. As with the reverse camera technology, these alerts should be considered extra safety measures, rather than replacements for good old-fashioned shoulder checks. 

4. Airbags 

You would be hard pressed to find a modern vehicle without these. In fact, this is probably the one safety feature that just about everyone knows (and cares) about, regardless of age. A recent survey conducted on vehicle safety revealed that more than one-third of Gen Y and one-quarter of Gen X drivers said installed airbags topped their list of desirable safety features, and for good reason. The airbags built into your car will be one of your best defenses in the event of an accident. When you’re buying a new car, check for airbags in the side panels as well as in front to maximize passenger protection in any seat. Be aware, though, that recall notices have been issued for several fairly recent car models over airbag safety concerns, so stay alert and take your car to be checked if you’re unsure if it was affected. 

5. Electronic Stability Control 

Particularly important in places where wet weather is common, electronic stability control helps to counteract a loss of control over the steering wheel by applying the brakes to individual wheels. This creates an effect similar to steering in moments of instability which is designed to keep your car on the straight and narrow. Pair this technology with lane-keeping assist, and you’ll have plenty of drift-prevention power on your side. 

6. Automatic Braking 

Rear-end collisions are surprisingly common and are often caused by a simple lapse in concentration, but many of these incidents could be prevented with the help of an automatic braking system. This feature uses a sensor such as radar, laser and video data in the nose of the car to detect obstacles in the path ahead, prepares the brakes for full stopping power, and applies the brakes automatically to prevent a collision. As a handy last resort, this is a great feature to have on your side in moments of lapse. 

7. Tire Pressure Monitoring System 

It’s not always obvious when your tires are running low on air, and can be easy to forget during pitstops at the petrol station. Driving on semi-deflated tires leaves you at greater risk of a sudden blow-out on the road. For anyone who struggles to tell when the tires are running low, an in-built tire pressure monitoring systems provides the perfect solution. The system is designed to detect when the air pressure in your tires is lower than it should be and prompt you to fill up, which also helps to reduce the wear on under-inflated tires, making it a great investment for the long-term. 

Make Safety A Top Priority When Buying A New Car

Regardless of the updates you might find in new car models, the most important factor separating safe and dangerous drivers is caution. Making the extra effort to look around you before you begin your journey and being vigilant while you're on the road could mean the difference between life and death.

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