Safety Car Features You Should Not Miss
Published: April 26, 2015 | Updated: April 5, 2021 | Posted by: Carlo Miguel Castañeda | Car Insurance
Most modern cars are equipped with several features to ensure the safety of occupants. While nothing can beat a safety-conscious and defensive driver, there are times when unavoidable accidents happen. Each car manufacturer has its own set of safety features installed in their different car models. If you are in the market for a new car, aesthetics and price should not be the only considerations when choosing. Here are the some of the car safety features you need to watch out for.
Read More: 6 Safety Tips When Driving This Rainy Season
Table of Contents
Seat Belt Features
Seat belts keep occupants inside the vehicle in the event of a crash, and these basic features reduce the risk of the passengers colliding with the windshield, the dashboard or the steering wheel. But modern seatbelts are even more improved. Look for an adjustable upper belt that allows the shoulder strap to be repositioned to accommodate the driver’s size. Some higher-end vehicles also have a seatbelt pre-tensioner that automatically retracts the seat belt so excess slack is removed when there is a crash. Likewise, check if the seat belt has energy management features that give the strap some yield, it does not concentrate its energy on your chest. It you have young children, check if the car has rear center seat lap/shoulder belts.
If you have babies or toddlers, child seats and booster seats are the best way to keep them safe within the vehicle. Check if the car has ISOFIX standard attachment points, where you can strap or hook safety seats.
Although there had been cases of non-deployment of an air bag during a car crash, these are undeniably a safety feature that you should not take for granted. Front airbags prevent the occupants from hitting the windshield, steering wheel or dashboard in case of impact. Side or curtain air bags, on the other hand, prevent car occupants from hitting the door and shield occupants when objects crash through the door. The air bags themselves are more effective when used in tandem with seat belts – which is why they are called secondary restraint systems or S.R.S. While front air bags cushion occupants from the impact of head-on collision, it does not offer protection from side and rear impacts and rollovers.
Anti-lock Brake System
While this is supposedly a standard feature in most modern cars, it is still good to check if the car actually does have an anti-lock brake system or ABS. This feature prevents the wheels from locking when the driver brakes in panic, which helps the driver maintain greater control of the car’s steering in the event of sudden braking. With ABS, the car does not skid due to locking brakes. Rather, the brakes will pulse upon full application, giving the driver a better chance at steering away from trouble. All passenger cars with ABS have four-wheel ABS monitors while vans, trucks and sport utility vehicles usually only have two-wheel monitors that control the rear tires of the vehicle.
Adaptive Cruise Control
While cruise control is more applicable to regions with very long and wide highways, these can also be useful in expressways here in the Philippines. An evolution of this technology is adaptive cruise control, which uses forward-looking sensors such as cameras and radar to monitors speed and distance of the vehicle in front. The system will automatically slow down the car when approaching traffic so that a safe distance is maintained without the driver doing anything. When the traffic is moving once again, the car will accelerate to maintain the speed that had been preset.
Head restraints limit head movement when there is impact from the rear, which reduces the risk of sustaining neck injuries such as whiplash. They are extensions of the car’s seats and should meet specific strength and size requirements, but only in the car’s front seats. In most cars, these are adjusted manually, while other cars are equipped with head restraints that adjust automatically in conjunction with the changes in the position of the seat. There are some car makes that have dynamically-adjusting head restraints in the event of a crash.
These are some of the safety features to look out for when buying a car. However, remember that even with the number of safety features in a car, it is still important to be a safe and defensive driver all the time.
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