A vehicle’s ability to assist drivers in avoiding a collision is just as important as its crashworthiness. A car designed with increased visibility, along with emergency and brake handling is essential. So too is the position and comfort of the driver’s seat to decrease the potential of driving fatigue. Car manufacturers offer special features on new models as a way to increase their safety and handling while drivers are behind the wheel.
Anti-Lock Brake System
An anti-lock brake system (ABS) is a feature highly recommended by auto experts. Most new vehicles are installed with the advanced braking system as a standard feature. Anti-lock brakes prevent wheels from locking when stepping hard on the brake pedal. This minimizes the potential of losing control of the vehicle in a spin.
The advanced brake system allows for shorter stops with more control while keeping the vehicle straight. The increased control allows motorists to maneuver safely during panic stops.
Electronic Stability Control
Motorists can now purchase vehicles with electronic stability control (ESC) which is beneficial to high profile vehicles like trucks, vans and SUVs. The stability system feature allows the driver to maintain control of the vehicle to stay on the intended path while cornering. The ESC system prevents the vehicle from skidding or sliding on a turn.
When initiated, the system automatically applies the brakes on any or all wheels while cutting engine power to maintain control of the vehicle to keep it on course. The stability control feature can eliminate the potential of a rollover on high profile vehicles. However, it does not improve emergency situations on vehicles that are being handled poorly, and does not have the ability to change the laws of physics.
Federal law mandates that all new passenger vehicles be manufactured with front airbags. However, some manufacturers are also offering “smart” airbag systems with electronic sensors designed to gauge different variables. The smart system can detect driver’s seat position, safety belt use, position and/or weight of the driver and front seat passenger along with the severity of the crash. The data provided to the system can instantly tailor the deployment of all airbags including those on the front and side to increase safety during an accident.
Before purchasing a vehicle, evaluate its overall safety. Determine how the vehicle handles and performs in emergencies, and how it protects every occupant during a collision. By comparing appropriate variables along with safety related features and ratings, it will be easier to make the final automobile purchase decision.