There’s more to car safety systems than seat belts and airbags. From electronic stability control and anti-lock braking to collision warning systems, modern vehicles cram a lot of tech into their cabin and body, resulting in a safer, comfier and more secure ride. Here are five of the most vital safety features used in today’s cars:
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Also known in the trade as dynamic stability control, electronic stability control (ESC) has been designed to prevent crashes that occur due to loss of control. When an ESC system senses that a driver has lost control, it automatically puts on certain brakes to get stability back. Early ESC systems operated the brakes after a car lost control, and then tried to correct things. However, the most modern gadgetry built into vehicles is now designed to stop any loss of control from happening in the first place. The original ESC systems were introduced to cars in the 1980s by Totota, but these days, ESC is used in a variety of vehicles, from pick-ups to posh company cars.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
On older cars, sudden braking to avoid a crash could lead to the braking system locking up, causing the vehicle to lose grip with the road. ABS is a safety technology that stops this from occurring, ensuring a vehicle doesn’t skid under hard braking. This means that when a driver needs to slam the anchors on suddenly, such as to avoid rear-ending another vehicle, their motor car comes to a measured, smooth stop, instead of wildly skidding all over the place. The first ABS tech was developed over eight decades ago for aircraft. In the 21st century, ABS is a factory-fitted safety feature that was made compulsory under EU law in 2004.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
Forward collision warning technology uses radar lasers, or a camera to identify any oncoming vehicles and obstructions in the road ahead. If a hazard is in front of the vehicle, the forward collision warning tech informs the driver, giving them more time to take action and either avoid or lessen the gravity of a crash. Some systems are made to automatically brake or manoeuvre when an obstacle is detected in front of the vehicle, reducing the risk of a potentially fatal accident happening. Forward collision warning systems have been a mandatory safety fitting for all cars sold in the European Union since 2003.
Night driving can be a hazardous occupation. For instance, navigating corners can be an especially hard thing to do if you don’t know the road. This is where adaptive headlights come in. They boost visibility by turning their beams to look “into” each bend as you turn, giving you a far clearer view of the tarmac ahead. German automaker, Mercedes Benz, ushered in the technology in 2011, and they’ve since become a popular feature on cars from companies such as Ford and SEAT.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
Adaptive cruise control (ACC) uses a front-facing radar to spot the speed of cars ahead. It uses this data to fine-tune the position and speed of the car. As the vehicle approaches other cars, ACC keeps a steady distance to stop crashes from happening. In solid traffic, ACC lets a car adjust to the average road speed, even if its target speed is more than this. As traffic lessens, the vehicle will automatically speed up to a safe speed while keeping the preset distance from other cars. Mitsubishi introduced distance-calculating cruise control technology back in 1992 and refined it so it became a proper ACC system in 1995. The technology is presently used by companies such as Ford.
Don’t hesitate to contact or visit your local Perrys dealership for more information.