Safety Equipment to Expect When Buying a New Car
- on November 05, 2020
- Categories: Car Feature Articles
Those of us who are old enough may remember when multiple airbags and new crumple zones were the height of car safety technology. The plethora of advanced driver assistance and active safety systems that exist now were nothing but a pipe dream back then. The question is, though, if you’re buying a new car in 2020 or 2021, what kind of on-board safety equipment should you expect?
Depending on your budget and the make/model of car you choose, standard safety features will vary. The general rule of thumb is that the more expensive the brand, the more generous the standard offering will be. As an average though, we’ll talk about a standard trim level on a decent mid-level car brand similar to Volkswagen or Toyota.
We’ll take some things as read, such as airbags and anti-lock brakes, since they have been around for a long time already, and focus more on Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS). ADAS features are more commonplace now than they were in the past because the technology is now cheaper to build to a decent standard. You should expect your mid-level sedan to feature things like:
- Forward collision warning – letting you know via audio/visual warnings that there are obstacles like other vehicles or pedestrians in the road ahead. Failure to respond may trigger other features like brake assist.
- Lane departure warning – a visual/audio warning if you stray from a set lane.
- Rear parking sensors – audio prompts that indicate increasing proximity of a wall, pedestrian or other obstacle as you reverse.
- Hill start assist – innovative feature to stop you from rolling backwards or stalling when performing a hill start, especially in traffic.
- Cruise control – a well-established feature that lets you set a pre-determined speed limit, after which your car will not allow you to exceed it – excellent for highway travel.
- Brake assist/Automatic emergency braking – when the car can detect that you haven’t responded in time to an impending hazard or obstacle in the road, it may initiate braking assist to apply emergency braking for you.
- Automatic high-beam lights – in order to prevent you dazzling other drivers, many cars now feature automatic dimming of high-beam lights when they detect oncoming traffic.
With an upgrade to your trim level, or the purchasing of an additional technology or safety pack as some brands like to do, you might add further features to your car. Sometimes only a small bit of extra budget can purchase some significant upgrades. For example:
- Blind spot warning – for those times when you forget to check your blind spot, it will offer a warning if you are making a mistake in moving into a space you shouldn’t.
- 360-degree camera – parking camera that gives you a view around the whole car while putting the car into a tricky spot.
- Parking assist – when parking is really tricky and could result in a mishap, this feature can take over, handling the steering automatically while you work the pedals.
- Head-up Display (HUD) – bringing all the navigation and other key information into the driver’s eyeline to reduce distraction by needing to check the infotainment screen or a separate mobile device for directions.
The Future is Safe
The truth is that safety features are becoming increasingly varied and advanced. To get a glimpse into the future, you should check out what the top-end Mercedes-Benz and other high-flyer cars offer in their machines. This is the most cutting-edge but currently expensive technology that sooner or later should trickle down to the more average cars. Stay safe on the roads!