What Makes a Vehicle Safer?
How You Can Choose the Safest Vehicle
Over the years, deaths due to vehicle accidents have steadily decreased (when adjusted for increased population). While some of the safety features are obvious, others aren’t. So what makes a vehicle safer? What has been incorporated into vehicle technology to reduce fatal accidents?
As the best auto body repair shop in Billings, we want to be able to fix your vehicle after an accident; when you are still alive that’s easier to do. So we have lain out the top 9 improvements and how they have helped make vehicles safer. And we let you know how you can buy the safest vehicle possible.
Technology Improvements Making a Vehicle Safer
Reading through the list, some are quite obvious. Other safety features aren’t incorporated into all newer vehicles, so you have to be aware when you’re upgrading.
Seat Belts – Obviously seat belts have been in vehicles for quite some time. The improvements are two-fold. First, people have become aware that seatbelts save lives and they are using them more often. Second, simple lap belts are hard to find; now it’s over the shoulder, even for the middle seat.
Air Bags – Did you know the patent for airbags dates back to 1950? They weren’t introduced widely to cars until the 1970’s, and even then they were a luxury item and described as an alternative to seat belts. That quickly was seen as a bad idea, and implementation picked up through the 1980’s and by the 1990’s nearly every new vehicle had them.
Anti-Lock Brakes – Anti-lock brakes don’t guarantee avoiding a crash, but they certainly do help you maintain control as you stop. If you remember the days of pumping the brakes, you remember how easy it was to spin sideways when sliding.
Head Restraints – Head restraints have long been on the front seats, but often the rear bench style seats went without them. They don’t just help to prevent whiplash if you’ve been rear ended, they also help prevent fatal neck injuries in a more serious crash.
All Wheel Drive – All wheel drive, when all four wheels can have power when needed, is not to be confused with four wheel drive, when all four wheels always have power. All wheel drive technology can detect when a tire is slipping, and transfer power to another wheel. It helps many motorists without them even realizing it.
Traction Control – Traction control is similar to anti-lock brakes, but for acceleration. When your wheels slip upon hitting the gas, they just spin gaining little traction. The traction control helps to “pump the accelerator” in order to regain that grip.
Lane Departure Detection – One of the newest safety features, the car can actually see the lines on the road. When you’re drifting subtly toward them, it “nudges” the steering wheel bringing you back in line with your lane.
Automatic Braking – Like lane departure detection, automatic braking happens because the vehicle “sees” an object in front of you. If you’re moving too fast toward the object, the vehicle assists by implementing the brakes for you.
Vehicle Weight – One method of choosing a safer vehicle: choose a bigger vehicle. That extra mass means that you fare better in an accident. SUV’s, although higher and more prone to rolling than cars, are safer simply due to their size.
Prevent Needing Collision Repair
When you’re out shopping for a new vehicle, take safety features into consideration. Spend a little extra on what are still considered luxury (like lane departure detection and automatic braking) so that you can prevent an accident. And remember, an alert driver is a safe driver.
If you do get in a fender bender, or worse, bring your rig to the best auto body repair shop in Billings to get it fixed back to factory safety standards.