Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Crucial safety features to consider when buying a car

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 6.1 million police-reported vehicle crashes in 2014. Seventy-two percent of those accidents only involved property damage, a figure made possible by the safety features that have become commonplace over recent decades.

Kevin Schechterle, service director at Gary Rome Hyundai, explains many safety features "are somewhat obvious and something we don't regularly think about because they've been a central part of car safety for so long." Here are ten of the high-tech safety features you should know before buying your next car.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Known as TPMS for short, a tire pressure monitoring system lets the driver know (with a light on the dashboard or audio alert) when tires are low on pressure. Many drivers fail to regularly check tire pressure, and a sudden leak or tire failure can have serious consequences, especially at high speeds.

Adaptive Cruise Control
Early generations of cruise control just locked the vehicle into a steady speed, which meant that drivers had to take over every time they got stuck behind a slower vehicle. New iterations of cruise control allow the vehicle to automatically slow down for a safer following distance.

Collision Warning or Blind Spot Detection
At low speeds and on the highway, drivers aren't always able to see vehicles behind and to the sides. Blind spot detection helps make sure that drivers are aware of their surroundings.

Lane-Departure Warning
Not unlike how rumble strips on the shoulders of highways serve as an important warning to drivers, the built-in feature of lane departure warning can help address three key causes of accidents: distractions, drowsiness and driver error.

Rollover Prevention
Sturdy roll bars and seatbelts are life-savers when a rollover happens, but preventative measures help by modulating the brakes and throttle in an effort to reduce the chance of a rollover.

Airbag Sensors
Improved systems can adjust how the airbag deploys based on whether the passenger is a child or an adult who happens to be reaching for something on the floorboard.

Emergency Brake Assist
More sophisticated than anti-lock brakes, which mainly prevent skidding and loss of traction, emergency assist judges when the driver is making a panicked stop and helps the vehicle stop faster.

 Adaptive Headlights
Better bulbs for your old high beams may not provide much help with sharp turns, but newer adaptive systems can turn with the curves or focus the light ahead at higher speeds.

Rearview Camera
While drivers tend to ignore the warnings of backup sensors, a rearview camera allows you to see pedestrians and potential obstacles when reversing.

Emergency Response
In an accident, your cell phone may be out of reach. With emergency response systems, getting help can be as simple as pressing a button on the rearview mirror.

While new vehicles may have a range of these safety features, some types are inherently safer. "When you're in the market for a new vehicle, it's best to research all of the safety features available and decide what's best for your family," said Schechterle. A Hyundai dealership is a good place to compare different types of safety features because seven Hyundai models earned the government's highest safety rating. 

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