If you are shopping for a new vehicle, you may have questions about the various safety features available on some models. Some safety features are designed to help prevent a car accident by assisting the driver. Below are the top 10 safety features as ranked by Consumer Reports.
- Forward-Collision Warning (FCW) – This safety feature helps you avoid rear-ending the vehicle in front of you. FCW uses your speed and other data that is constantly monitored to provide a visual and audible warning of a potential collision with the vehicle in front of you.
- Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) – An AEB system applies the brakes if you fail to do so to prevent collisions with vehicles in front of you.
- Blind-Spot Warning – Blind-spot warnings are especially beneficial when driving on the interstate or highway. Much like FCW, this safety feature warns drivers if it senses something in the vehicle’s blind spot. This is very helpful if you drive a vehicle with numerous blind spots such as an SUV or a minivan.
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert – This safety feature senses objects that may cross your path when you are in reverse. Some systems apply the brakes (like the AEB system) if you fail to react. Rear cross-traffic alert helps you avoid collisions in parking lots and as you back out of your driveway.
- Backup Cameras – Backup cameras help prevent rollover accidents; however, drivers must be cautious. Never rely solely on your backup camera. Always look at your complete surroundings before backing up and while you are backing up.
- Automatic High Beams – At night, you need extra illumination to see objects at a distance that could pose a potential hazard. However, you do not want to blind oncoming vehicles. Automatic high beams turn your beams on and off for you.
- Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA) – LKA has its drawbacks but on the other hand LKA can help prevent distracted driving and drowsy driving accidents. LKA senses when you drift out of your lane and provides steering input to correct the problem.
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) – If you travel on the interstate often, ACC can be a lifesaver. You do not need to disengage your cruise control as you approach traffic ahead. ACC senses vehicles and slows the speed of your vehicle to avoid a collision.
- Parking-Assist Systems – This safety feature helps you as you maneuver in and out of tight spaces by warning you of objects that are close to your vehicle. It is a definite advantage if you must parallel park on a frequent basis.
- Lane-Departure Warning (LDW) – Consumer Reports states that LDW gives false warnings but it is useful on open-lane highways and interstates. When LDW is activated, you receive a sound or vibration warning when you drift out of your lane.
As with any technology, you must use good judgment. Do not rely solely on safety features to protect you against car accidents.
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