Car Safety Features That Can Help Prevent Accidents: From Lane Departure Warning Systems to Automatic Emergency Braking

safety features in self driving car
safety features in self driving car

Motor vehicles in 2023 are loaded with amazing technology that can keep us safer on the roads and reduce the chance of getting into an accident. Some of these include:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Anti-lock braking systems
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Automatic parallel parking
  • Automatic reverse breaking
  • Backup cameras
  • Backup warning
  • Bicycle detection
  • Blind spot warning
  • Brake assist
  • Curve speed warning
  • Drowsiness alert
  • Electronic stability control
  • Forward collision warning
  • High speed alert
  • Hill descent assist
  • Hill start assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Left turn crash avoidance
  • Obstacle detection
  • Parking sensors
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Sideview camera
  • Temperature warning
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Traction control

Below we will get into some additional detail on some of the most important ones.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) helps to improve safety for drivers by using radars or lasers to measure the car’s surroundings and maintain a safe distance between the driver and other vehicles, either faster or slower. ACC also assists with acceleration and/or braking to maintain a driver-selected gap to the vehicle ahead. In 2023, there are plenty of cars on the road today with excellent adaptive cruise control, and it’s not just luxury cars like BMW or Tesla. Affordable cars like the Kia Soul or Mazda 3 also have excellent ACC on board. While it is a safety feature, ACC is also used at times to set cruise control over the speed limit while on highways, and the relationship between speeding and fatal car accidents is well known.

Adaptive headlights

Adaptive headlights automatically adjusts the direction and intensity of the headlights based on the car’s speed, steering angle, and other factors. It’s a very convenient feature to have while you are driving at night. It improves driver safety in a number of ways.

  • Improved visibility: Adaptive headlights can change the direction of the beams to illuminate a curve or corner as the car turns, providing better visibility for the driver.
  • Reduced glare: Adaptive headlights can automatically adjust the height of the beams to avoid shining in the eyes of oncoming drivers, reducing glare and improving visibility for both drivers.
  • Improved reaction time: By providing better visibility, adaptive headlights can help drivers spot potential hazards sooner, which can give them more time to react and avoid a collision.
  • Automatic High Beam Control: This feature will automatically switch between high and low beams based on the traffic and road conditions, this feature also helps to avoid glare and improve visibility.

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS)

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are a type of vehicle safety feature that helps prevent the wheels from locking up during sudden braking. This technology saves thousands of lives every year, as they are installed on all modern cars in 2023. In fact, it’s been a requirement in the U.S. since 2012. Benefits of ABS include the following:

  • Allows steering during braking: ABS allows the driver to maintain steering control while braking, which can help the driver avoid obstacles and stay on the road.
  • Reduces stopping distance: ABS can reduce the stopping distance of a vehicle, which can help the driver avoid a collision.
  • Improves traction: ABS can improve traction and stability by preventing the wheels from locking up, which can help the driver maintain control of the vehicle.
  • Prevents skidding: ABS can prevent the wheels from skidding, which can help the driver maintain control of the vehicle and avoid a collision.
  • Improves braking performance in adverse weather conditions: ABS can improve braking performance in wet, icy or snowy conditions, where traditional braking systems can fail.

Automatic Emergency Braking

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is a vehicle safety feature that uses sensors, such as radar or cameras, to detect potential collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects in the road ahead. If a collision is imminent and the driver does not respond in time, the AEB system will automatically apply the brakes to slow or stop the vehicle, reducing the severity of the crash or avoiding it entirely.

AEB systems can be divided in two categories:

  1. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) Systems: These systems provide a warning to the driver when a potential collision is detected, giving them a chance to take action and avoid the crash.
  2. Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems (AEB): These systems automatically apply the brakes when a potential collision is detected, without any driver input.

AEB systems can work in a variety of scenarios, such as in low-speed city driving, highway driving and also in parking lot maneuvering. AEB is standard on almost all vehicles in 2023, including Acura, Audi, BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Lexus, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Automatic Parallel Parking

Automatic parallel parking is a safety feature that uses sensors and cameras to assist the driver in performing the task of parallel parking. The system automatically steers the vehicle into a parking spot, while the driver controls the speed. For all you people terrible at parallel parking, this feature can come in incredibly handy! No more driving over curbs or 29 point turns.

Automatic Reverse Braking

Automatic Reverse Braking (ABS) is designed to prevent accidents that can happen when reversing, such as running over a young child while backing out of your driveway or hitting a bicyclist whizzing by. Automatic reverse braking system can detect and alert the driver of the potential collision and if the driver does not respond, the system will automatically apply the brakes to prevent the accident. Considering that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates crashes involving vehicles backing up cause over 200 deaths and 15,000 injuries each year, this is an incredible safety feature that saves lives. They are not foolproof however, and drivers must always pay attention to what’s behind them while reversing.

Lane Departure Warning Systems

Lane Departure Warning Systems (LDWS) are designed to improve road safety by helping drivers stay within their lane. These systems use cameras and sensors to detect lane markings and provide audible or visual warnings if a driver begins to drift outside of their lane without using a turn signal. By reducing the risk of lane departure accidents, which are a major cause of accidents on the road, LDWS can help save lives and reduce the severity of injuries in the event of a crash. Increasingly available as standard equipment on new vehicles, LDWS is a valuable safety technology that can help drivers stay alert and focused on the road.

Automatic Emergency Braking system

This is another important safety feature in your car that can definitely help when it comes to preventing an accident. This new braking technology uses sensors that will help to detect whenever you are about to crash into something, like another car, or a pedestrian. This will apply the brakes for you, because let’s just face it, sometimes our reflexes aren’t nearly as fast as we think they are. Having the automatic emergency braking system is another way to help prevent or reduce the severity of a collision, especially when driving in low-speed situations.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is another assistance system for drivers that is a definite life saver. This will automatically adjust the speed in your vehicle to make sure that it maintains a safe distance from the car driving in front of you. This way, you can stop tailgating other drivers nearby and start being a speedily safe driver.

Blind Spot Detection

Blind Spot Detection is the assistance feature that will tell you, “hey, there’s a car next to you, you should probably check.” This one alerts you with either an audible or visual warning that will help you to avoid any accidents. Trust us, you don’t want to be the person who gets into an accident all because of a blind spot!

Curve Speed Warning

Curve Speed Warning is a driver assistance technology that alerts drivers when they are approaching a curve at an unsafe speed. This system uses sensors and cameras to detect the road ahead, and it calculates the recommended safe speed for a given curve based on factors such as road curvature, vehicle speed, and tire grip. If the driver is exceeding the recommended safe speed, the system will provide an audible or visual warning, reminding them to slow down and drive more carefully. This technology can help reduce the risk of accidents caused by excessive speed on curves and improve overall road safety.

Drowsiness alert

Drowsiness Alert is a driver assistance technology designed to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue. The system uses sensors and cameras to monitor the driver’s behavior, such as their eye movements, head position, and facial expressions, and it uses algorithms to determine if the driver is becoming drowsy. If the system detects signs of drowsiness, it will provide an audible or visual warning to the driver, reminding them to take a break or change their driving position to stay alert. This technology can help reduce the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue, which is a major cause of accidents on the road, and improve overall road safety.

Electronic stability control

Electronic Stability control (ESC) is a system in modern vehicles that helps the driver maintain control and stability of the car in dangerous driving conditions such as skidding or loss of traction. It uses sensors to continuously monitor the car’s direction and compares it to the driver’s intended direction, and automatically applies the brakes to specific wheels to help steer the car back on course. ESC has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of accidents, particularly in adverse weather conditions, making it a vital safety feature in modern vehicles.

Forward collision warning

Forward collision warning is a safety feature found in some vehicles that alerts the driver of an imminent collision with the vehicle in front. This system uses radar or cameras to detect the distance and relative speed of the vehicle ahead and provides a warning to the driver if a potential collision is detected. The warning may be in the form of an audible beep, a visual display, or both. In some cases, forward collision warning systems can also automatically apply the brakes to slow or stop the vehicle, helping to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. This technology can greatly enhance driver awareness and help prevent accidents, making it a valuable addition to any vehicle.

Lane keeping assist

Lane keeping assist is a driver assistance technology found in some vehicles that helps drivers stay in their lane on the road. This system uses cameras, radar, or other sensors to detect the position of the vehicle in relation to the lane markings and provides an alert or assistance to the driver if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane. The assistance may be in the form of a steering correction, a visual display, or an audible warning. In some cases, lane keeping assist can also provide a gentle steering input to keep the vehicle in the center of the lane. This technology helps reduce driver fatigue and improve safety on the road, especially during long drives or on roads with a lot of lane changes.

Obstacle detection

Obstacle detection refers to the technology and techniques used to identify and locate obstacles in an environment, typically for the purpose of navigation and safety. This can involve using sensors such as cameras, lidars, and radars to gather data about the surroundings, which is then processed by algorithms to detect and classify obstacles. Obstacle detection has numerous applications, including in autonomous vehicles, drones, and robotics, where it is critical for ensuring safe and efficient operation.

Temperature warning

A temperature warning is a type of alert issued by weather agencies or health organizations to inform the public of excessively hot or cold temperatures. These warnings are designed to raise awareness of the potential health risks associated with extreme weather conditions and to encourage people to take necessary precautions to protect themselves. These precautions may include staying hydrated, wearing appropriate clothing, limiting outdoor activities, and seeking air-conditioned or heated environments.

Tire pressure monitoring system

A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is an electronic system designed to monitor the air pressure in a vehicle’s tires and alert the driver when the pressure falls below the recommended level. The TPMS uses sensors mounted on each tire to measure the tire pressure, which is then transmitted to the vehicle’s on-board computer. Low tire pressure can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, reduced handling, and increased tire wear, which makes TPMS an important safety feature for ensuring optimal vehicle performance and longevity. TPMS also provides real-time monitoring of tire pressure, which helps drivers avoid potential hazards such as tire failure or blowouts.

Parking sensors

Parking sensors are a safety feature commonly found in vehicles that assist drivers in parking by providing an audible warning when the vehicle is getting close to an obstacle. These sensors use ultrasonic waves to detect objects near the car and are usually located at the front and rear bumpers. The sensors emit a beeping sound that becomes more rapid as the car gets closer to an object, allowing the driver to make an informed decision about the proximity of the vehicle to the obstacle. Some advanced parking sensors may also display a visual representation of the objects on a dashboard screen. Parking sensors can be especially helpful when navigating tight spaces, making parking safer and easier for drivers.

A few other notable safety features include rear-view cameras, parking assistance, and lane-keeping assistance. Rear-view cameras can help drivers to see what’s behind them when reversing, like that one time you almost backed over your boss’s cat. And parking assistance is like having your own personal valet, making parallel parking a breeze.

These are just some of the many car safety features that can help prevent accidents on the road, so you can finally stop worrying about getting a ticket, and start focusing on singing at the top of your lungs to your favorite songs. So, go forth and drive safely, folks!