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Car safety tech you should know about

Safety first, right?

With all these new high-tech safety options here are some features you should really know about. Forward collision warning gives you an alert if something’s in the road ahead from stopped vehicles to pedestrians, cyclists, and animals. Automatic emergency braking can activate the brakes if you ignore the forward collision alerts. It’s been shown to prevent or lessen the impact of crashes. Drivers in an emergency often fail to fully activate the brakes. Brake assist detects when you’re panic braking and applies the brakes completely in milliseconds automatically. Blind spot warning alerts the driver usually with a solid or flashing light in the side mirror when a car is in your blind spot. The sensors may also tell cars equipped with active steering systems to steer you back into your lane to avoid a collision.

The lane departure warning system alerts you either with visuals, audio, or sometimes even vibration in the wheel, or your seat if you start to drift out of your lane or leave the road entirely. Even stronger than the lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist actually steers you back into your lane on its own. Driver inattention monitor makes sure you’re not falling asleep or getting too distracted. The car will give you a warning, sometimes in the dashboard display, with steering wheel motion, or even track your eye movement to encourage you to take a break.

Automatic crash notification calls 911 if your airbags deploy using your Smartphone or branded system like GM’s OnStar. It might also come with a remote lock or unlock feature also called emergency telematic systems. These can be lifesavers. Automatic high beams sense traffic ahead of you on a dark road and turns your brights on and off automatically. Airbags in the steering wheel, front dash, and front side doors are now federally mandated. Before you overload on airbags though, check crash test stats to see what makes sense. Now that you understand how these common safety features work, you’re ready to find the right car to keep you and your family safe.

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