Used cars usually offer a substantial savings compared to new cars, but with used car prices going through the roof lately, car shoppers have more cause to check out new cars. One reason is all the advanced safety features that newer models have these days.
Front and Side Cameras
Rear view cameras have been around for decades, but front and side cameras are a relatively new addition to car safety. They are used for other safety features to avoid collisions on the road, but they can also help you park safely. Some vehicles use all your car’s cameras (front, side and rear) to simulate an overhead view to assist you when parking. Land Rover uses a camera below the vehicle to show the driver the upcoming terrain. This is called “ClearSight ground view.”
Blind Spot Detection
Every car has blind spots that can keep you from seeing other vehicles. This can lead to an accident when you enter an intersection or turn or change lanes. Blind spot monitoring systems alert you with audio and visual cues when a vehicle is moving in one of your blind spots. These alerts become louder or brighter if you signal to change lanes, and some systems provide a video feed of your blind spot areas when needed. Some systems will adjust the brakes or steering to prevent a collision.
Lane Departure Warning
Lane departure warning systems, which often rely on a camera near the rearview mirror, keep track of your car’s position in a lane. Any indication that you’re leaving the lane accidentally, such as merging without signaling, creates an alert. This can be a sound, vibrations in your steering wheel or seat, and/or visual cues on the dashboard. Some systems will attempt to correct an unintentional lane departure with light steering or braking adjustments.
Forward Collision Warning
Forward collision warning systems use forward-facing sensors to monitor the distances and relative speeds between vehicles. If the system senses a crash may occur, it emits sounds, visual signals and/or physical sensations such as a vibration of the steering wheel.
Curve-adaptive headlights pivot in the direction that you steer, helping your visibility on curves. Studies have shown that they reduce accidents by giving drivers more time to react to oncoming cars.
HID Xenon Headlights
HID stands for “high intensity discharge,” which is used to create an electrical arc in a bulb containing xenon gas. Each headlight has a built-in ballast to create the high voltage and current. They’re often used only for low-beam headlights, with the high beam using a halogen system. The light is emitted by a projector lens, so the beam is more targeted and can shine farther. The light is bright white, similar to daylight, giving better illumination. HID xenon systems last twice as long as halogen bulbs. Replacing them can be pricey, running $100 to $200 per bulb. Also, the little units that control the system can fail, too, and they can cost as much as $600 a piece.
Adaptive driving beam (ADB) headlights, also called “smart headlights,” shine more light onto the road ahead without blinding the drivers in oncoming cars. Some ADB headlights use shades within the headlamp assembly to protect oncoming cars from glare. Others consist of multiple LEDs and can selectively shut off some of them so the light doesn’t shine directly at other drivers. The technology has been available for years in Europe and Canada, but wasn’t approved for use in the United States until recently.
We’ve gotten used to front, side and curtain airbags. Some new models are now featuring center airbags, which spring from the inside of the front seat to shield front passengers from colliding with each other. They also minimize neck and spine twist injuries.
Active or Adaptive Cruise Control
These advanced cruise control systems read the traffic ahead and will slow down or speed up according to traffic flow. More advanced systems can conform to changing speed limits, or even stop a red light for you. They can even steer to maintain a lane on curves.
Safe Exit Warning or Assist
These systems are designed to protect passengers when they exit your car. If you’re driving very slowly and there’s a car or bike approaching, the system will lock the passenger doors using the child lock.
AEB with Intersection-Scanning
Automatic emergency braking (AEB) uses radar technology, and employs the brakes if you’re heading towards a collision with an object, building or other vehicle in front of you. These have been around for a while but newer systems, referred to as “intersection collision warning systems,” “junction AEB” or “intersection-scanning AEB” go further, warning you of vehicles on either side of you that pose a collision risk.
While all these advanced safety features are making driving safer, accidents will still happen. If you’ve been in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact the pros at B&L Automotive Repairs. A family-owned business, we have over 30 years of experience handling every kind of body and mechanical repair, and we’ve even got a play area to entertain the kids while you wait. Our expert staff is continually trained and updated, and our state-of-the-art equipment allows them to serve you with the highest level of expertise. No matter what make and model you drive, or which insurance company you use, we will provide fast and reliable service to make sure your needs are met. Call us today at (773) 463-1622, or contact us through our website for more information.