Safety remains a top concern for new-car shoppers, and fortunately, today’s modern cars offer more occupant protection and accident avoidance technologies than the typical model being traded in. But not all cars are equal; there are clearly those models that perform better in dynamic tests, as well as crash tests conducted by the government and insurance industry. Test results on car model pages reveal the differences, though there is more to safety.
New technologies offer potential benefits, such as blind-spot detection and forward-collision warning systems. But ultimately, the driver is a critical factor, especially among teens and older drivers.
Need a new car? Then consider one with active safety systems. Manufacturers are building cars with systems that can help you avoid or mitigate a crash in all sorts of situations, such as closing in on another car too quickly, changing lanes into an unseen car in a blind spot, or simply backing out in a busy parking lot.
The latest in Key active safety systems include:
Forward-collision warning (FCW) - Visual and/or audible warning intended alert the driver and prevent a collision.
Automatic emergency braking (AEB) - Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce collision speed.
Lane-departure warning (LDW) - Visual, audible, or haptic warning to alert the driver when they are crossing lane markings.
Blind-spot warning (BSW) - Visual and/or audible notification of vehicle in blind spot. The system may provide an additional warning if you use your turn signal when there is a car next to you in another lane.
Lane-keeping assist (LKA) - Automatic corrective steering input or braking provided by the vehicle when crossing lane markings.
Rear cross-traffic alert - Visual, audible, or haptic notification of object or vehicle out of rear camera range, but could be moving into it.
Once sold on the concept of these active safety systems, there remains the challenge in interpreting each manufacturer’s offerings, each with their own unique name, and then figuring out which trim and/or option is necessary to get the gear.