New cars are safer than those made 10 years ago, a fact that is of special interest if you work out of your car or are the designated chauffeur in your family. It might be time to trade up.
From airbags to back-up cameras, self-parking to warning systems, new cars make it easier to avoid fender benders and handle crashes without injury. Accidents can still happen, so it is essential to carry adequate business auto insurance, but these new advances in safety technology will reduce the number of claims you need to make.
Here’s a look at five that will give you a sense of security on your next trip.
Airbags. New cars have side curtain airbags in the front and the rear. Most also have side airbags on the seats too. Second only to seat belts, they are one of the critical advances in passive safety developed.
Electronic Stability Control. In the past if you lose control of your car, it could easily flip. The advantage of electronic stability control, or ESC, is that it keeps your vehicle on the road if you experience a problem.
The way it works is by constantly checking–up to 25 times each second–that the input from the steering control corresponds to the direction your car is on. If not, it automatically puts on the brakes and reduces torque to help straighten out the car’s trajectory.
ESC is considered by experts to be as important for overall car safety as seat belts and airbags.
Backup cameras. When you reverse your car’s direction, the backup cameras show on your dashboard you what is behind you. More advanced models also show trajectory lines and distance data.
By May 2018 these devices will be mandatory, according to rules from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
If you feel you can’t afford this add-on, you can invest in backup sensors, which warn drivers with a sound alert that the vehicle is getting close to an object.
Park Assist. This option removes the dread from parallel parking. Basically, your car does the work for you. You pull up to the parking spot, put the car into reverse and then it moves itself into the parking spot. It is a must have for people who park downtown often.
Warning Systems. There are three of these: blind-spot, lane-departure and forward collision warning systems. Each uses radar, cameras or lasers to monitor blind spots, lane markings and vehicles driving ahead of you.
You are alerted by an icon on your dashboard, a sound alert or a vibration on the steering wheel. Of the three, the forward collision warning system is considered the most developed and useful.
If you are in the market for a new car, you will have numerous new safety features to choose to add. They are making cars easier to drive and control. Be sure to let your insurance agency know about the advanced safety features your new vehicle is equipped with.