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Driving with Confidence: Top Safety Features to Look for in Your Next Car

The Top Safety Features You Should Be Looking For in Your Next Car

And when it comes to buying a new car, safety features should be near the top of your must-have list. Modern vehicles are fitted with different safety features with the evolution of automotive technology in order to keep you safe on the streets. Read on to learn about the best safety features that should be on every new-car shopper's list, how they work, and why they could keep you safe and sound.

1. ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) refers to a suite of technologies implemented to ensure vehicle safety and improve the overall driving experience. Some important options to consider include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) which simply maintains a chosen speed for your vehicle and passes that ability to keep a certain distance from the car in front of you while cruising. This, combined with its radar sensors to track traffic flow can stop the car if needed.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) Lane Departure — If the vehicle starts to leave its lane and the driver does not use their turn signal, the system issues an alert. Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) adds a mild steering impulse to the warning behavior to assist the driver in getting the car back on track after an unintended lane crossover.

2. Adaptive Emergency Braking (AEB) paddled AEB systems prevent or minimize the impact of a frontal collision by detecting vehicles, pedestrians or, in some cases, objects and attempting to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision by automatically applying the brakes. That system uses sensors, cameras, and radar to monitor the road ahead. Why It Matters: AEB can help avoid crashes or make them less severe, especially if a driver is not responding soon enough. It works best in the city, with lots of on-off action.

3. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) System Front Collision Warning (FCW) systems prompt the driver if a collision to the front of the vehicle is imminent. FCW uses sensors and cameras to track your car's distance away from the vehicle in front, issuing visual and audible alerts if it calculates that a crash is about to happen. Why It's Important: FCW can give drivers an extra second or two to react and avoid a crash -- or at very least mitigate the accident.

4. Traction Control (TCS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) — These systems help improve the driver's control of the vehicle in slippery or otherwise difficult driving conditions. Traction Control prevents the wheels from spinning when accelerating by limiting engine power or using the brakes on individual wheels. Why It Is Essential: Traction Control enhances the security of the vehicle and traction on slippery surface areas, like wet or icy roadways, while minimizing the opportunity of skidding.

ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is a standard safety feature that helps keep a vehicle on its intended path by preventing skids or rollovers via automatic brake application to individual wheels and power reduction, to assist the driver during quick maneuvers or when roads are slippery. Why It Matters: ESC is crucial for preventing a car from losing its stability under heavy cornering or in emergency or slippery road conditions. This reduces the risk of rollovers and skidding out of control.

5. Airbags —It can be argued that airbags are the one most important advances in safety. They deploy on impact to reduce injury from a collision. Modern cars are based with multiple airbags that are distributed throughout the entire cabin. Front Airbags, steering wheel and dashboard airbags protect the driver and front passenger in case of a head-on collision. Side airbags are located in the seats or doors to help protect you if you are hit in a side collision. They act as cushions for passengers torsos and pelvis. Curtain airbags roll down from the roof to safeguard occupants' noggins in case of a side impact or a rollover. Why They Matter: Airbags are critical in a crash because they act as a soft area for occupants to come into contact with the interior of the car, reducing the chances for severe injury or death in high-speed impacts.

6. TPMS - Tire Pressure Monitoring System. If the sensors detect that any tire is significantly under-inflated, a warning lamp will illuminate on the instrument panel, and an audible warning will sound. Correct tire pressure is important for the safety and handling of the vehicle.

7. Backup cameras and parking sensors help drivers navigate tight spots and reverse safely. A backup camera that projects a high-quality image of what's directly behind the car on the infotainment screen. This allows drivers to see possible obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles that would be in their blind-spot. Parking sensors make use of ultrasonic sensors to detect objects in the vicinity of the car and sound warnings as the car approaches obstacles.

What They Do: These systems improve the driver's vantage and mitigates the potential for parking lot fender-benders.

8. Adaptive headlights change in parallel to the rotational velocity of the steering wheel, speed, and street terrain. This manner of utilizing the technology makes sure that the road is illuminated perfectly in all directions, even around twists and turns.

Why This Alert Is Important: Adaptive headlights provide more light down the road and from one side to the other, reducing the chance of causing (or possibly adding to) an accident when seconds count and visibility is poor.

9. Driver Attention Monitoring systems examine the driver's behavior to identify whether drowsiness or distraction is at play. These systems normally rely on the use of cameras and sensors to track elements like steering inputs and blink rates.

Why It Is Essential: These monitors are important as they are able to notify the driver when they start losing focus and allow the driver to avoid an undesired accident caused by an incompetent or tired driver.

10. Pedestrian Detection, employs both cameras and sensors to locate pedestrians in or around the path of the vehicle. When the unit detects a pedestrian, it will warn the driver and if necessary, trigger an autonomous brake application in an attempt to prevent an accident.

Benefits: Pedestrian Detection provides an added safety value to protect the driver, pedestrians, and other vehicles from unnecessary collisions, especially in high density urban settings or crowded places.

11. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert The RCTA is another safety feature that helps reduce or avoid collisions when backing out of areas where vision can be obscured. It gives the driver a visual alert and also an audible warning of approaching vehicles from the sides using sensors.

Why it Matters: RCTA increases visibility and aspects when the drivers sight line is limited thus decreasing chances if an accident occurring while in reverse.

12. Surround-View Camera System (360-degree camera): Gives the driver a bird's-eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings. The system combines images captured by multiple cameras positioned around the car to produce an assembled image displayed on the infotainment screen.

Why It’s Important: The Surround-View Camera System will make parking and moving in cramped spaces a breeze, as it gives you a complete view of what is around the vehicle, hence lowers the risk you hitting hard obstacles or people.

It goes without saying that one of your highest priorities should be buying a car with the latest safety features to protect yourself and anyone you're travelling with. The evolution of automotive safety technology can greatly reduce accidents and increase driving safety across the board. From Advanced Driver Assistance Systems ADAS, to airbags, tire pressure monitoring, and adaptive headlights — each contribute to safeguarding occupants and avoiding collisions. Knowing how these safety features work can explain why one car is safer than another, giving you a leg up in your research on the safest car for you. When you buy a car with plenty of safety features, it brings you peace of mind, which means more safety on the road for everybody. There's only more to come as automotive technology progresses, so keeping up with all the latest safety appliances is more important than ever for making the best choices for your safety and of those you love.

Here at TLC Motors, we take driving safety very seriously. It is our goal to make sure our customers are safe when they get behind the wheel. We have several cars that include the safety features listed above. Check our used car inventory here to start your journey towards a better, safer vehicle today.