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How Safety Features Are Preventing Some of the Most Common Types of Car Accidents

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There are millions of car accidents every year, and some of the most common causes are related to human error or even criminal activity.

For example, driving while under the influence is a common contributor to car accidents. Similarly, every day eight Americans die on average because of collisions involving distracted drivers.

While there are some things you can’t do much about as far as the risks you face on the roadway, many car safety features are evolving at a rapid pace, making you safer and helping you avoid some types of collisions even if you can’t control the behavior of people you share the road with.

The following are some things to know about current, modern safety features on vehicles and how they’re keeping the roads safer.

Forward Collision Warning

Forward collision warning is a feature that’s increasingly becoming standard on new vehicles.

Forward collision warning systems provide alerts of different types to warn a driver that they’re potentially going to collide with an object or car in their direct path.

Forward collision warning systems have been shown to reduce rear-end accidents by 27%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Along with the standard forward collision warning feature, some systems have pedestrian detections as well. This alerts drivers if there’s a pedestrian detected in front of the vehicle.

Adaptive Headlights

Adaptive headlights respond to different conditions.

The goal is to help drivers have improved visibility and then that should, in turn, give them more time to react to what’s ahead on the roadway.

The term adaptive headlights is broad, and it includes different features, such as curve-adaptive headlights and automatic high beams.

Blind-Spot Monitoring

Blind-spot monitoring or detection is a feature that like many others on this list is increasingly becoming standard on new vehicles.

With blind spot monitoring, there are sensors that are on the side mirrors of a vehicle and also the back bumper. They detect vehicles in the adjacent lanes. If something is detected by the sensors, then the driver is alerted with a visual or auditory warning.

Blind-spot monitoring is frequently included with a rear cross-traffic alert feature. This will detect anything in your way when you’re reversing out of a parking spot. This might include pedestrians, objects and vehicles.

Relatively recently, there has been an upgrade in many blind-spot monitoring systems. They now actively help you avoid a collision rather than just providing a passive warning.

As an example, if you were driving and your system detected a vehicle next to you in your blind spot, then if you were going to try to change lanes your vehicle might take over the steering and brakes to help you avoid hitting the vehicle.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control is a feature that can help you keep your desired speed on a highway. That can reduce how much you have to use your accelerator. You can set your desired speed, but also in a step that’s beyond traditional cruise control, you can set the desired following distance you’d like to stay from the vehicle ahead of you.

If you’re driving and a slower vehicle gets in front of you, the system will automatically slow your speed to keep up with the following distance you set.

Then, when the vehicle moves, you will once again return to the speed you set originally.

In advanced systems, the adaptive cruise control will integrate with the car’s navigation system and perhaps the forward-looking cameras too. This will help a vehicle slow down when going around a tight curve and reduce the vehicle’s speed if there’s a posted change in the limit.

Lane Departure Warning System

A lane departure system and includes lane-keeping features. These systems use a forward-facing camera to monitor the lines of the lanes around your vehicle. Then you’ll receive a warning if you’re getting too close to a lane or crossing one.

The system doesn’t activate if you’re using your turn signal.

There are actually a few variations of this general technology.

With the lane departure warning, you just get a visual or audible warning.

With lane-keeping assist, there is automatic steering and braking to keep you in your lane.

There’s a feature called road departure assist that will automatically steer or brake the vehicle to try and keep you from leaving the roadway. Finally, there’s lane centering assist, which is automatic steering and braking to keep you in the center of your lane continuously.

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