As automobile technology continues to advance, safety continues to be a top priority of both regulators and automakers. If you are looking to purchase a new vehicle in 2019, you should be aware of some of the safety features that may be available. Note that all of these features do not come standard on all vehicles, but rather they are either offered or come standard on some new model vehicles for 2019:
- Adaptive cruise control – Adaptive cruise control typically relies on a combination of lasers and cameras to maintain consistent distances with traffic ahead of you. Depending on the system, the driver may or may not have to reengage if traffic speeds change significantly.
- Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) – AEB will automatically apply the brakes if the car’s sensors detect that a collision is likely with the car ahead. There are two main versions of this technology. City Automatic Emergency Braking is designed to prevent a collision or reduce the severity of a collision when driving at city speeds. High-speed Automatic Emergency Braking is designed to reduce the severity of a collision when traveling at freeway speeds.
- Blind-Spot Warning System – This feature has been standard in many luxury cars for a number of years, but is increasingly being introduced in more basic models. This system provides a visual and/or audio notification that a vehicle is present in your blind spot, and may use an additional warning should your turn signal be on at the time the system detects a vehicle.
- Forward Collision Warning – This system provides a visual and/or audio warning that there is a vehicle ahead, lessening the chance of a collision.
- Lane Departure Warning – If the driver is crossing lanes without signaling a lane change, this system will alert the driver. This system may be visual, audio, or haptic, through vibrations in the steering wheel.
- Lane Keeping Assist – This system takes the lane departure warning feature a step further, applying automatic corrective steering measures as well as braking as needed should the vehicle cross lane markings
- Rear Cross-Traffic warning – As most new vehicles now have back-up cameras, this feature attempts to address the shortcomings of the visual range of the camera. This system provides visual or audio alert if there is an object or vehicle out of camera range, moving towards the range.
- Rear AEB – Sometimes offered in tangent with the Rear Cross-Traffic Warning system, rear automatic emergency braking will automatically apply the brakes if the vehicle is about to back into something behind it.
Keep in mind that these names of these safety features may not be the same across all vehicles, and some features will be standard rather than optional. When shopping for a new car, keep these features in mind and how they may benefit you as a driver. Always remember that these safety features are no excuse for distracted driving or intoxicated driving, and are merely designed to complement sober and focused driving, rather than substitute for it.