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What Are the Most Important Car Safety Features?

 The sad truth is that car accidents happen all the time. While some are unavoidable, many result from careless driving or faulty car safety features. To ensure you're safe on the road, it's important to know what car safety features are essential. 

Car Safety Features

Remember that the safety features in your car may be the difference between life and death in an accident. 

So, what are some of the most crucial car safety features to consider when purchasing a vehicle? Read on to find out everything you need to know.


Airbags are now standard in all cars manufactured after 1999, with some models, such as the Toyota Camry offering up to 10 airbags. 

While they're not foolproof, studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have found that front airbags can reduce fatalities from frontal collisions by 29% for drivers, and 32% for passengers aged 13 years and older.

By inflating during a frontal collision, airbags protect car occupants from coming into contact with hard interior surfaces within the vehicle. 

Sensors on the front of a car measure and detect frontal impacts and instantly respond accordingly.

Sensors will transmit a signal to the igniter within an inflator when a crash force is high enough to trigger airbag deployment. 

This prompts a chemical reaction that produces gas (usually helium and argon), rapidly inflating the airbag - all in less than 1/20th of a second, at speeds up to 200 miles per hour. 

The powerful force makes it dangerous for anyone - even healthy adults - to be sitting too close to an airbag when it deploys, so experts recommend leaving at least 10 inches of space between yourself and any frontal airbags. 

For this reason, the back seat is typically considered the safest place for younger children.

However, newer car models are equipped with advanced technology that detects the weight and seating position of car occupants. 

With this data, airbag deployment can be tailored to help reduce its initial force, thereby minimizing injury risk. 

Furthermore, many cars now come with side-curtain airbags that protect the head and neck during rollovers or side impacts and side-impact airbags that shield the torso - these form two of the six standard airbags found in most new cars.

Backup Camera

A backup camera is a mandatory safety feature for all cars manufactured in 2018 and beyond.

The backup camera, otherwise known as a rearview camera, helps drivers back up safely. You can avoid hitting obstacles or people in your path by providing views of what's behind a vehicle through an LCD screen on your dashboard. 

This is especially helpful when you're backing out of a busy parking lot, as it eliminates the need to twist your body around and crane your neck to look behind.

Blind Spot Monitoring

Changing lanes on multi-lane highways can be dangerous when other vehicles drive in the same direction. 

To help reduce this risk, cars are now equipped with blind spot monitoring (BSM) systems that use external cameras to warn drivers when another vehicle enters their blind spot.

Through radar and sensors, your car will detect nearby objects hidden from direct sightlines and indicate them via a visual alert. 

Blind-spot monitoring is particularly useful for large vehicles like SUVs, as the blind spots are even wider due to their size.

BSM systems can also detect cars from behind and provide warnings when reversing out of tight parking spots. This technology can be found in most mid-range to luxury vehicles now. 

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) prevents unnecessary skidding and maintains directional control during hard braking. 

It works by constantly monitoring the speed of each wheel and selectively applying brakes when necessary, preventing wheels from locking up. 

The ABS will also automatically adjust the brake pressure as necessary to maintain traction, helping you stay in control during emergency braking situations.

ABS is now a standard safety feature on all cars manufactured after 2012, and it's one of the most critical brakes-related advancements that have ever been made. 

It gives drivers more time to react in cases where sudden braking is necessary - such as when attempting to avoid an animal or pedestrian on the road. 

Electronic Stability Control

Electronic stability control utilizes ABS sensors to keep a car tracking stably in the desired direction. 

It is designed to detect when excessive steering or cornering causes a car to become unstable and then applies brakes autonomously on individual wheels where necessary.

This helps drivers stay in control of their vehicles while taking corners at higher speeds, reducing their chances of skiddingand spinning out of control.

ESC is now a standard safety feature on all cars manufactured after 2012 and can be found in most mid-range to luxury vehicles. 

It's one of the most significant advances ever made in automobile safety, as it helps drivers stay in control during emergencies. 

Brake Assist System (BAS)

The brake assist system (BAS) is another vital safety feature that helps drivers respond more quickly and efficiently in emergencies. 

BAS works by detecting sudden, hard braking and automatically applying increased pressure to the brakes, helping the driver come to a complete stop as quickly and safely as possible. 

This system is typically found in higher-end cars and can be especially helpful for drivers who may not have the strength or reflexes necessary to make an emergency stop.

Inattentive Driving Monitor

The number of car accidents caused by inattentive driving is on the rise. To combat this, car companies are now developing inattentive driving monitoring systems that can detect when a driver is not paying attention and alert them of potential dangers on the road.

This technology uses external cameras to monitor the driver’s head position and facial expressions, as well as sound and motion sensors to pick up signs of fatigue or distraction. 

If a potential issue is detected, the system will sound an alarm and/or provide a visual alert to warn the driver.

Inattentive driving monitoring systems are not yet widely available but are becoming more common in mid-range to luxury vehicles. 

This technology is expected to become even more advanced in the future as car companies continue to work on improving it. 

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the many advanced safety features available in modern cars. As technology continues to improve, so do our chances of avoiding accidents and staying safe behind the wheel. 

Investing in a vehicle with these types of features is always a smart idea for drivers who want to stay safe on the road.