Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Dawn Nieves. Dawn is the voice behind the popular travel and lifestyle blog ANewDawnn.com. When she’s not behind the computer you can find her on a road trip with her family. She believes some of the best memories are created on the road and is always looking for her next adventure.
When it was time for me to buy a new car, I had a checklist of features that were important to me. Certainly, color and trim played a role, but safety features were top of mind, especially since my family takes a lot of road trips. And, in my opinion, there’s no better way to see the country and bond with your family. So, when we hit the road in my new car, I want to make sure we’re as safe as possible.
As I was test-driving each vehicle, I paid close attention to the safety features included. Following is a description of some that are becoming standard equipment and that I find very useful.
Lane Centering Assist
Lane Centering Assist monitors lane markings using cameras. If the system notices you drifting out of your lane without the turn signal on, it notifies the driver with beeps or vibrations. I like this feature because there are times when you lose focus on the road. With Lane Assist’s gentle reminder, you can easily make the correction and avert an accident.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
Automatic Emergency Braking helps warn a driver of an impending forward crash. First, there is a visual and audible warning, but if the driver doesn’t take corrective measures, the system will. It works by automatically engaging the maximum braking capacity of the vehicle. This one was a lifesaver for me. As I was driving my GMC Yukon Denali, equipped with AEB, a vehicle in front of me slammed on its brakes. I got the warning notice and thankfully my AEB applied the brakes. Disaster averted.
Back-up cameras allow drivers to see what’s behind a vehicle on a screen when shifted into reverse. Capturing the view through cameras mounted in the rear, it can help with blind spots and prevent you hitting something before backing up. No one wants to hit anything, let alone a child or an animal that sneaks up behind you. The Back-Up Camera can provide some peace of mind. In addition, once you get used to using the screen for your view — and there is a learning curve — it’s great for parking too! If your current vehicle doesn’t have this feature, you can purchase an aftermarket system to put on your car.
Blind Spot Monitoring
Blind Spot Monitoring systems combine a series of sensors that monitor the left and right side of your vehicle. As you are driving, the sensors can pick up a vehicle that you may not see by alerting you with seat vibrations or noises. Some vehicles, including my GMC Yukon, also have lighting in the side mirrors that flash when a vehicle is detected on either side. These sensors pick up blind spots, a real danger that’s responsible for countless accidents.; I rely on this safety feature a lot. I can’t tell you how many times I was going to change lanes and the warning signals prevented me from moving into another car.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive Cruise Controlis an autonomous driving aid that automatically adjusts your car’s speed to maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles on the road. By measuring the distance from your vehicle to the vehicle in front of you, it can adjust cruising speed to maintain a safe distance. Although this feature sounds great in theory, automakers still haven’t perfected it. Sometimes the gap between the car in front of you is too large, and other drivers are inclined to cut you off.
As technology progresses, safety features on vehicles will continue to improve. Hyundai has an advanced system called SmartSense. Any extra help I can get keeping my precious family members safe is not only good for me, but all those sharing the road.