Car safety is an important consideration for all drivers. Many factors can contribute to a car accident, including driver error, road conditions, and mechanical failure. 

However, there are also a number of safety features that can help prevent accidents. Better still, they can help protect drivers and passengers in the event of a crash.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most important car safety features in 2023. I will also provide tips for choosing a safe car and ensuring that all of the safety features in your car are working properly.

Let’s roll!

The Importance of Car Safety Features

Driving can be a thrilling adventure, but it’s crucial to prioritize safety while on the road. While you may drive well, you don’t know about other users on the road. So, you definitely need car safety features.

They will help keep you and your loved ones protected during your travels. These features can help to reduce the severity of an accident or even prevent it altogether.

For example, 

  • Seat belts can reduce the risk of death by up to 50%. 
  • Airbags help to protect the driver and passengers from head and chest injuries. 
  • ABS helps to prevent the wheels from locking up during braking, which can help you maintain control of your car in a skid. 
  • ESC can help keep your car from spinning out of control.

I didn’t want to give it away so early, but it is what it is, right?

Let’s get into the details now.

Must have car safety features infographic

Seatbelts

When it comes to car safety, seatbelts are the unsung heroes that deserve the spotlight. These essential safety accessories are designed to keep you securely in your seat, minimizing the risk of injury during accidents. 

There are different types of seatbelts available, each offering varying levels of protection. The classic lap belts are the simplest form. But modern vehicles often feature three-point seatbelts that provide enhanced safety by restraining both the lap and shoulder areas. 

Some newer models even come equipped with automatic tensioners, which automatically tighten the seatbelt in the event of a crash. This provides an extra layer of security. 

Pro Tip: Always wear your seatbelt correctly. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about slinging it across your shoulder and calling it a day. Ensure the lap belt is snugly secured across your hips and the shoulder belt rests comfortably across your chest and shoulder, away from your neck. 

Pregnant women should position the lap belt below the baby bump, with the shoulder belt crossing over the chest diagonally.

Restraint Systems – Airbags

Exploded airbag as a car safety feature

In addition to seatbelts, advanced restraint systems, such as airbags, play a vital role in protecting occupants during collisions. These inflatable lifesavers act as a cushion, reducing the impact of a crash and minimizing the risk of severe injuries. 

Depending on the vehicle’s make and model, airbags can be found in various locations. They can be in the front, sides, and even the knee area. 

Remember, while airbags are crucial, they are not a substitute for seatbelts. The two work together to provide optimal protection. So, always buckle up! Literally!

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

ADA Systems help prevent accidents and make your driving experience safer and more convenient. They are like your personal co-pilot.

One of the standout ADAS features is Forward Collision Warning (FCW) coupled with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). 

  • FCW uses sensors to monitor the distance between your vehicle and the one in front. It’ll then alert you if you’re getting too close. 
  • AEB takes it a step further by automatically applying the brakes if it detects an imminent collision. This should help you avoid or mitigate the impact. It’s like having a superhero reflex that kicks in when you need it most!

Another fantastic ADAS feature is Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA). 

  • LDW uses cameras to detect lane markings and alerts you if you unintentionally drift out of your lane. 
  • LKA takes it up a notch by gently nudging the steering to keep your vehicle centered within the lane. It’s like having an invisible hand guiding you back on track.

Next is the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). This clever system takes traditional cruise control to a whole new level.

It automatically adjusts your vehicle’s speed to maintain a safe following distance from the car ahead. No more constant manual adjustments or worrying about tailgating. ACC lets you relax and enjoy the drive while still ensuring a safe distance.

Ever experienced that heart-stopping moment when you change lanes, only to realize there’s a car lurking in your blind spot? Well, Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) have got your back! 

  • BSD uses sensors to monitor your blind spots, alerting you with a visual or audible warning if another vehicle is detected. 
  • RCTA comes to the rescue when you’re reversing, warning you of approaching vehicles or pedestrians. It’s just like a backup camera, though it doesn’t provide visuals.

Remember, ADAS features are designed to assist you, but they don’t replace responsible and attentive driving.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Imagine driving on a winding road when suddenly, your tires lose traction, and your vehicle starts to skid. It’s a terrifying experience that Electronic Stability Control, or ESC, aims to prevent.

How does ESC work its magic? Well, it constantly monitors your vehicle’s movements using sensors. The latter measures parameters such as steering input, vehicle speed, and yaw rate. 

If it detects a loss of control or deviation from your intended path, ESC springs into action. It selectively applies braking to individual wheels. At the same time, it adjusts engine power to help bring your vehicle back on track.

Whether you encounter a sudden obstacle on a wet road or take a turn too sharply, ESC helps maintain stability, improve traction, and reduce the risk of spin-outs or rollovers.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

A display of ABS on vehicle monitor as one of the car safety features

Let’s pump the brakes for a moment and talk about the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Have you ever found yourself in a panic situation where you had to slam on the brakes? 

ABS will save the day by preventing your wheels from locking up during hard braking. This maintains steering control and reduces stopping distances.

When you stomp on the brake pedal, ABS rapidly modulates the brake pressure to each wheel. It does this by constantly monitoring the rotational speed of each wheel. 

If it detects that one or more wheels are about to lock up, it momentarily releases and re-applies the brakes. This prevents skidding and allows you to maintain control over the vehicle.

Additionally, advancements in ABS technology have introduced features such as electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist systems (BAS). 

  • EBD helps distribute braking force among the wheels based on the weight distribution of the vehicle. This optimizes braking performance. 
  • BAS detects emergency braking situations and automatically increases brake pressure to help you stop more quickly.

Structural Safety and Crashworthiness

Car getting assembled on a conveyor line

On to the sturdy backbone of vehicle safety: structural safety and crashworthiness. It’s not just about the flashy features; a well-designed vehicle structure is crucial in protecting occupants during crashes.

That’s why organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluate vehicles based on their crashworthiness and structural integrity.

Imagine your car colliding with another vehicle or hitting a solid object. This is where the concept of crumple zones comes into play. 

These specially engineered areas in the front and rear of your vehicle are designed to absorb and dissipate the kinetic energy generated during a crash. 

By crumpling strategically, these zones help minimize the impact force transferred to the vehicle’s occupants. This reduces the risk of severe injuries.

Reinforced pillars and side-impact protection add an extra layer of safety. Sturdy pillars and beams, often made of high-strength materials, provide structural integrity and enhance the vehicle’s ability to withstand side impacts. 

Additionally, side-impact airbags and curtains help protect occupants from potential intrusions and provide cushioning in the event of a side collision.

What about rollover accidents? 

Roll-over accidents can be particularly hazardous, but fear not! Many vehicles come equipped with roll-over protection features. 

These may include roll bars or reinforced roofs designed to prevent the roof from collapsing in the event of a roll-over. This minimizes the risk of injury to occupants. 

So, whether you’re cruising down the highway or navigating challenging terrains, structural safety features are there to get you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.

Tips for Choosing a Safe Car

If you are looking for a safe car, here are a few things you need to do:

First, look for a car that has been awarded a good safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These organizations test cars for their safety and assign ratings based on their performance.

You can also consider reviews from other drivers and experts.

Second, choose a car with a long list of standard and advanced safety features. Many vehicles come standard with features like seat belts, airbags, and ABS. However, some also come standard with more advanced safety features, such as blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.

Finally, have the car inspected. Before you buy a car, have it inspected by a qualified mechanic. This will help to ensure that all of the safety features are working properly.

Over to you

Car safety is an important consideration for everyone who drives. By choosing a safe car and making sure that all of the safety features in your car are working properly, you can help to keep yourself and your passengers safe on the road. Get those car safety features added, and enjoy your rides!

 

FAQs

What are the most important car safety features?

Seat belts, airbags, ABS, ESC, backup camera, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning. Add forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking to the list.

How do I choose a safe car?

Look for a car that has been awarded good safety ratings from the IIHS or NHTSA and has a long list of standard safety features. Also, consider buying a car with advanced safety features like AEB and lane departure warning.

How do I ensure that all of the safety features in my car are working properly?

Read your car’s owner’s manual, get your car serviced regularly, and pay attention to warning lights. If anything looks suspicious, get help from a qualified mechanic.

What are some tips for driving safely?

Be aware of your surroundings, drive defensively, and obey the speed limit. Also, don’t drink and drive, use your turn signals, and don’t text and drive.

What are the latest car safety technologies?

Automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warning. These are just a few of them.