The 9 Safety Features You Need In Your Car

Posted in November 28th, 2014
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When choosing your next family car, safety is right at the top of the list. When it comes to your children, there is nothing more important than their safety while driving. You may be the best driver in the world, but you cannot control others around you. That is why the safety features of your new car are worth investigating. Safety functionality in cars is now very sophisticated. However, pay particular attention if you are buying an older, used car.

Every car now comes with a 5 star safety rating. They are put through rigorous tests and crash scenarios. The results are monitored and the impacts on crash test dummies are noted down. In some cases, unsafe cars will be rejected. In others, they will just be given a low rating. When buying a new car, try to stick to a rating of 4 stars and above. It may cost you a little extra but it’s a small price to pay if your car saves your life.

We are all aware of certain safety features but it is unlikely we know the true depths of them. We all know that seat belts and airbags improve our safety. However, did you know the complex varieties they come in? Not all seat belts are the same and many are more safe than others. When browsing Pentagon-Group for your next car, look at all the safety reviews and information. This following list will help advise you on what to look out for.

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Seat Belts

Wearing a seat belt is a legal requirement in most countries now. They are proven to save lives and prevent serious injuries. They are not all as safe as each other though. In some cases, seatbelts have actually caused injury. Poor seat belts apply too much pressure onto the chest during a collision. Modern seat belts are much more sophisticated. Look for adjustable braces so that it can be set to the correct height for you and your children. You should also look out for seat belts with load limiters. These dissipate energy away from the chest during a collision. It keeps you in place without subjecting the body to too much pressure. Finally, look for a good pretensioner. This is the mechanism that retracts and removes slack when you collide with something.

Airbags

Airbags have saved countless lives, but they are no excuse for not wearing a seat belt. in fact, if you’re not wearing a seatbelt, an airbag can cause you more damage. Airbags are designed to stop the impact of you against the steering wheel or dashboard during a crash. It will cushion your face from devastating injury. Side airbags also protect your arms and side of your head from impact with the side of the vehicle. Under no circumstances are they suitable for child under 12 years old. If you’re on a family trip, all children under this age should sit in the back seat. You must also never put a rear facing child seat in the front seat of a car. The airbag will cause severe damage in this case.

Head restraints

Again, we all know they are there but there are several things to consider. Head restraints protect the back of the head during a collision from behind. Whiplash and neck injury is one of the most common complaints during traffic accidents. The head restraint is there to reduce this risk. They are movable so make sure they are in the right place for you. Also, take note that rear head restraints are rarely as good as those in the front. Do you research and make sure they meet a good standard. Some modern cars now have auto adjustable head restraints. They will move during the collision to the most effective place.

ABS

ABS stands for antilock braking system. To avoid a crash, your instant reaction is to slam the brakes hard. Typically this will cause them to lock up and you’ll lose control of steering. It leaves you wildly out of control in an important situation. ABS lets you keep control by stopping the brakes from jamming. The ability to steer and remain in control is vital in avoiding collision with another car or object.

Traction control

Traction control tends to work in conjunction with ABS by improving the car’s general stability. Traction control restricts how much the drive wheels slip when accelerating and driving erratically. On a day to day level, it gives you much more control and stability when driving. This will lead to better handling and less chance of a crash. In the event of a collision, the car will be more responsive to evasive steering.

Stability control

Stability control is another function that gives you more handling ability. It reduces the likelihood over oversteer and understeer. These are two things that cause your car to veer out of control and off the road. It is a clever device that applies a tiny amount of braking to one particular wheel at a time. It does this to keep the vehicle on the right course when steering at high speeds.

All wheel drive

Most cars are two wheel drive. That means that power from the engine is diverted only to two of the wheels. The front two or the back two. In an all wheel drive car, power is sent to all four. This gives you better grip and stability on the road. When a car is equipped with all wheel drive, stability control, traction control and ABS, you are much safer. When you have good handling on your car, you can avoid and respond to accidents faster.

Weight

Finally, there is a reason why people go for large cars when looking for safety. When put against each other, cars with a heavier weight are safer than the lighter cars. That is simple physics and no amount of safety functionality can change that.

This list should give you a better idea of the safety functionality in your car. When looking for a new vehicle, check to see that it has all of these features. Your car must be responsive and handle well in moments of difficulty. If the worst happens, it must have sophisticated seat belts, airbags and head restraints. When it comes to safety, nothing is too expensive.

(Thanks to W. Robert Howell for the image)