When it comes to driving, safety is a top priority for everyone. After all, you never know when something unexpected might happen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to protect yourself and your passengers through technology.
Today, drivers have access to new technologies that make driving safer than ever before. From parking assistance to blind spot monitoring, here is everything you need to know about modern vehicle safety technology.
What is Vehicle Safety Technology?
Vehicle safety technology is any technology used to make driving safer. It includes various systems that help drivers avoid accidents, park, or drive more safely in inclement weather or other challenging conditions.
Some of these systems are available in all vehicles, while others are only in high-end or luxury models. Some features in vehicle safety technology include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, parking assistance, and traffic sign recognition.
How Does Safety Technology Work?
Safety technology can help guard against or reduce the severity of accidents by detecting a sudden break in traffic, a vehicle that’s not moving as it should be, or a collision that is likely to occur.
- Adaptive Cruise Control – This system uses sensors to keep a vehicle at a safe distance behind another vehicle, which helps avoid sudden braking and rear-end collisions.
- Lane-Keeping Assistance – Sensors in the steering wheel detect when a car is drifting from its lane and prompt the driver to take control of the wheel.
- Forward Collision Warning – This system uses sensors to detect when a driver is in danger of colliding with another vehicle. It alerts the driver with a sound or a visual signal, and in some cases, it can automatically apply the brakes to slow the car down.
- Automatic Emergency Braking – If a crash appears unavoidable, this system applies the brakes to minimize the crash’s severity.
- Blind Spot Monitoring – This system uses sensors to detect when another vehicle is in the driver’s blind spot. It alerts the driver with an alarm and sometimes a visual signal.
- Parking Assistance – Systems like automatic parallel parking use sensors to help drivers park more easily in tight spaces.
Distracted driving is a growing problem, and many safety technologies are designed to combat it. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and other systems can attempt to alert a distracted driver of potential hazards.
Systems like lane-keeping assistance can also help reduce distraction by gently nudging the steering wheel back into place if the driver begins to drift out of their lane.
Automated Emergency Braking (AEB)
Automatic emergency braking is a system that automatically applies the brakes in certain situations. It’s often used in conjunction with other active safety systems. AEB is designed to reduce the severity of collisions by stopping the vehicle before it comes into contact with another object.
It can prevent rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, and other accidents. AEB is available on almost all new vehicles and is especially useful in traffic situations. AEB can also be helpful in extreme weather conditions like heavy rain or snow. However, it’s important to note that AEB isn’t designed to stop a car altogether. Instead, it’s designed to reduce speed and help avoid or mitigate a collision.
Parking assistance systems can make parking easier, especially in tight spaces. They can help the driver find a spot, line up the car, and park. Some systems are paired with driver assistance technologies like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, or lane-keeping assistance, which can make them more effective in difficult conditions. Parking assistance can be helpful in cities, where parallel parking may be challenging, and in areas where street parking is standard.
Blind Spot Monitoring
Blind-spot monitoring is a system that uses sensors to detect vehicles in the driver’s blind spot. It can be helpful in situations where the driver can’t see another vehicle when changing lanes. Drivers can set the system to give an audible warning when another vehicle is in the blind spot. This can be especially helpful during heavy traffic when changing lanes frequently.
As our world becomes increasingly connected and automated, driving is also evolving. New vehicles are equipped with safety technology to help drivers avoid accidents and drive more safely, even in challenging conditions.
These systems can be helpful, but they’re not foolproof. It’s important to remember that you’re still responsible for driving safely and paying attention to the road. If you’re ever uncertain about using a new piece of technology, it’s best to err on the side of caution and ask for help.