We all have our ‘near miss’ stories involving car accidents. Some of us may even be unfortunate enough to have been involved. There’s no doubt about it, our roads are dangerous places. Even if you’re the safest driver on the planet, you can’t predict the actions of others. Traffic accidents are a huge problem in our country. In fact, it is the leading cause of death among young people.
That’s why car manufacturers have upped their game over the last decade. Modern cars are now safer than ever with a host of sophisticated technology on board. Today we’re looking at some of those fantastic features. They might just save your life one day.
Euro NCAP rating
Before any new car hits the market, they must be rigorously tested for safety. Euro NCAP is an independent review that tests all new cars. They put them in crash test scenarios and monitor their performance. They rate the adult occupation safety and the child occupation safety. They also mark the pedestrian safety and a new category, ‘safety assist’. Each test is tallied up and given a star rating (out of five). Always opt for a car with a four or five star rating.
Stability and traction control
This is a modern technology that is actively reducing the number of road accidents. These are the features that fall under Euro NCAP’s safety assist category. They are automatic technology that give the car more control during a crash situation. Stability control applies small amounts of braking to each wheel individually to improve stability. Traction control keeps you on the road while you swerve to avoid a collision.
We all know that our cars have airbags. However, you might not consider how sophisticated and clever they have become. The most impressive cars now have an airbag underneath the car. This deploys before a crash to slow the car down and lessen the impact. The reduction in speed may just be enough to save your life. Many cars now also have pedestrian airbags. These are airbags located on the outside of the car, protecting any pedestrians who may be involved.
Improved seat belts
Seatbelts are vital for keeping you safe during a crash. They’ll stop you hitting your head against the steering wheel, dashboard or windscreen. In the event of a powerful collision, they’ll actually keep you inside the car. But, there are good seat belts and there are bad seat belts. Good ones have pretensioners. These tighten around you upon impact and pull you into the seat. They should also distribute the impact of the crash around and away from your chest and body.
This isn’t a safety feature, per se, but size and weight still have a big advantage on the road. Of course, this isn’t always the case. The safest car in the world is actually a small hatchback, the Volvo V40. But, in general, bigger and heavier vehicles are more likely to keep you safe in an accident.
We hope you enjoyed our quick tour through modern safety features. Stay safe out there!