With every break of the dawn, cars have started looking more like something out of a 007 movie. What do these Bond car dead ringers of the day offer? Aside from being plenty expensive with much many safety devices, have they really added value to our lives and our driving experiences? Many safety devices have, while some others haven’t.
Today we look at some of the safety devices in our vehicles that make driving a bit easier and stress-free. Here is our pick of the 10 most underrated safety features in cars. Some of them are classics like the seat belt. While others are the product of innovation and a lot of money spent on R&D.
Antilock Braking System (ABS)
When we think of safety devices, the first thing that comes to our mind is ABS. Antilock Braking system prevents the wheels of a vehicle from locking up while braking. It is a standard safety feature now, present across almost all motor vehicles. ABS works along with EBD and other systems like Auto Emergency Braking.
Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
EBD electronically senses and decides which wheels need the most braking force. They assess the weight distribution of the vehicle across its wheels and the traction the vehicle has on the ground for arriving at this decision. Another device that prevents skidding is Electronic Stability Control. ESC is an even better feature compared to ABS with EBD.
Seatbelts are the mother of all safety features. Even though the seat belt has been around for over a century, they only became a standard car safety feature in the 70s. The three-point seat belt prevents a serious injury at the time of a collision. Seatbelts grip the occupants of the car in place. They avoid injury by preventing the body from moving forward and colliding with the steering wheel or the windscreen during an accident.
Airbags are also old as time. They are not as old as the seatbelts though, but they complement them well. Airbags are built with electronic sensors. They are then set off at the time of a collision. They act as a buffer to try and soften the blow from the crash. Nowadays cars are equipped with side airbags too.
Tyre Pressure Monitor
Though this might not sound like much, assessing the car’s tyre pressure is very important. You are more likely to get into an accident without a tyre pressure monitor. This is because if the tyres are underinflated they are more likely to blow out. This safety feature alerts you when the air pressure drops below a certain level.
Driver Drowsiness Detection System
This modern safety feature ensures that the driver is fully awake has got their eyes open. This feature scans the face of the driver to make sure they don’t fall asleep behind the wheel. In some cars, the dashboard shows the message ‘drowsiness detected’.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is not something anyone should ever do. This can harm foot-travellers and other vehicles that get in the way. In our country motor accidents caused by drunk driving claim around 5000 lives each year. The public danger the inebriated driver inflicts can be reduced if their car is equipped with a lane-keep assist. Lane assist makes sure that the car is within the lane marking and prevents the vehicle from deviating away from its lane.
Rear Seat Belt Reminder
This safety device is intended for people with kids or pets. They show whether there is movement in the rear seat. The system activates itself if the rear door was opened before the engine started running. This safety feature was introduced only a couple of years before.
Daytime Running Lamp
Daytime Running Lights decrease the chance of a front end collision and significantly reduce accidents during the day. When the engine is running, these lights stay on throughout the day and at night. These lights are faint and are located in the front bumper of the car or integrated inside the headlights.
Laminated Glass for Windshield
Laminated glass does not completely break. Even when they are destroyed they generally stay intact on the plastic film. They prevent passengers from being thrown out of the windscreen during an accident. In many countries, it is mandatory for cars to have laminated glass. Even though this is present in most cars they hold the title of being one of the most underrated safety features of all time.
Modern cars are equipped with a plethora of safety features. Some are surely overblown, even if they were introduced in good heart. But if you set the good intentions aside, what they add to the car in terms of safety or otherwise is very little. But there are many safety features in cars that are a must, during an accident or even while you are commuting every day.
Our cars are not going to come with an ejector seat button on the gear shift any time soon (the best safety feature if you ask us) or a rocket launcher for that matter (we are on the fence about that one though). Just like the V8 Vanquisher from Die Another Day, the cars of the present have a lot to offer too.