Chicago Auto Show Blog

A Guide to Safety Features in Cars Today

Posted by: Maggie Webb

Safety technology has evolved since the standard seat belt was included in most automobiles around the 1960s. Today, most states mandate all passengers wear their seat belts. This has widely shown a decrease in traffic fatalities.
A majority of collisions result in part due to human error from simple distractions such as phones or taking a sip of coffee. New active safety technology is working to avoid these accidents from occurring all together through preventive measures. Realistically, however, accidents may not be prevented altogether, so they are also working on safety assist technologies that actively automate to reduce impact of a crash to lessen more serious injuries. 
Automatic High Beam/Automatic Headlights/Adaptive Headlights
According to Forbes Magazine, 49 percent of accidents occur at night nationwide. These automatic headlights automatically switch on at dark corner turns or elevated hills for better visibility and turn off when it detects taillights of preceding vehicles. 
Inflatable Seat Belts
These new seat belts are reinforced with an airbag built within the seatbelt itself for more protection in the case of a collision. The crash force is absorbed over this larger area which is five times greater than the traditional seat belt. This is highly beneficial and highly reduces the likeliness of serious injuries.
Back-up Camera 
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this safety feature will be put in all cars starting in 2018 models. It not only makes parallel parking easier, it alerts you with rear crossing traffic accidents happen with young children crossing behind a car. This is used as an aid and activated when the car is in reverse. The back-up cameras usually consist of lights that go green, to yellow, to red demonstrating the proximity to an item behind you. In addition to the back-up camera, some cars have back-up sensors. These sensors alert with a noise when the car is in reverse to sense the presence of an item as well.
Forward Collision Alert
Similarly to the back-up camera, some cars have a forward collision alert. This feature is either camera or radar based. It will help prevent rear-ending, and in some cases cars will have auto-braking with this feature.
Lane Departure Warning
In some vehicles, your car will alert you through vibration of the steering wheel, flashing light or noises to make you aware that the car is drifting into the lane next to you without use of a turn signal. 
Blind-spot Warning
Blind-spot warning or side assist allows for your vehicle to sound when a car or item is in your blind spot. 
Autonomous Emergency Braking
With the forward collision alert and other sensor technology to detect speed and distance of objects in the vehicles path, some cars have been using auto brake to avoid accidents. With autonomous emergency braking (AEB), cars will apply braking according to the objects in their path. 
With majority of collisions blamed on human error through distractions, these new up and coming technology systems may reduce the quantity of car accidents per year. With the efforts of these technology systems to prevent or reduce impact of crashes, passengers will hopefully be safer in cars on the road. 
Which safety feature is your favorite? Tweet us at @ChiAutoShow or comment below.
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