Car accidents are a scary reality of being on the roadway, but they’re something we often don’t consider until it’s too late.
Being on the roadway with big trucks can be especially frightening, as any 18-wheeler accident attorney can tell you.
Of course, it’s not just big trucks that are risky. Drivers texting, going at high speeds, and drowsy driving are all major culprits of roadway accidents.
Luckily there is a lot of new auto technology becoming increasingly available that may help lower the risk you face when you hit the road, even if you can’t avoid it altogether.
The following are some car features to consider that may help reduce your risk of being involved in an accident.
Forward Collision Warning
A forward-collision warning system is a great safety feature that’s increasingly standard on vehicles. With FCW, your vehicle’s speed is monitored as is the speed of the vehicle in front of you. An FCW system also monitors the distance between vehicles.
With an FCW system, if vehicles are too close to each other because of how fast the rear vehicle is going, then the system warnings of an impending crash.
An FCW system does not however take control of the vehicle or prevent you as the driver from operating it.
FWC systems use sensors to detect vehicles that are stationary or slower moving.
This technology may help prevent frontal crashes into the back of a slower or stopped car.
Lane Departure Warning System
Another safety feature to consider if you’re in the market for a new vehicle is a lane departure warning system or LDW system.
This advanced technology lets drivers know if they’re drifting out of their lanes without using their turn signal.
LDW systems use cameras and monitor lane markings for detection.
There are several types of crashes that this technology may help reduce the risk of including a rollover, which can occur when a vehicle leaves the road.
An LDW system can also help prevent accidents that occur when you hit a car in an adjoining lane, such as sideswiping a vehicle when you’re going in the same direction or hitting a car going the opposite direction.
The NHTSA does recommend that you look for LDW technology when you shop for a vehicle.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive cruise control is a feature that’s often called smart cruise control, meaning that it slows down and speeds up automatically based on the pace of the car in front of you.
You, as the driver set a maximum speed, which is the same as you would with traditional cruise control.
Then, after you set your maximum speed, a radar sensor watches the traffic ahead. It locks the car in a lane, and your car is automatically instructed to stay several seconds behind the person ahead of it.
Most adaptive cruise control systems are paired with pre-crash systems. Then, you’re alerted, and the car may start braking for you.
ACC works especially well if you commute and face a lot of stop-and-go traffic.
Lane-keeping assist can return your car to your lane if you happen to drift out of it.
Lane-keeping assist can work alongside your lane departure warning system. If your lane departure warning is activated and you don’t respond in time, lane-keeping assist takes over steering and returns the car to the center of the lane.
Lane-keeping assist is designed to work with painted lane markings, and if you’re not driving somewhere those are present it may not be very helpful.
Blind Spot Detection
Blindspot detection systems, also known as blind-spot warning systems, use a camera ora radar to detect vehicles that you may not be able to see located behind you or next to you. If a vehicle is detected in your blind spot, this feature will provide you a visual warning. Some may also provide an auditory warning.
If you use your turn signal and someone is in your blind spot, you may get an additional warning.
There are even more advanced blind-spot warning systems that include automatic emergency steering. Automatic emergency steering will automatically not only steer but also brake if your turn signal is activated, and a vehicle is in your blind spot in the adjacent lane.
Finally, there is also something called rear cross-traffic alert. This system senses traffic that’s crossing your path when you reverse, which is helpful if you’re backing out of a parking spot, for example.