You can't watch television without noticing that automobile ads have changed in the past few years. Once touting the car's sleek style or powerful engine, advertisements today focus on safety features. Modern drivers look for the safest cars on the market. Some drivers may still be swayed by flashy, powerful advertising, but safety appears to be the winning factor in that purchasing decision.
Safety features have been evolving since Henry Ford's first model came off the assembly line. From seat belts and anti-lock brakes, manufacturers, legislators, and public health advocates have emphasized the importance of safety in automobiles. Now technology is playing a premier role in how safe a vehicle is for passengers and other vehicles sharing the road.
While older safety features focus on preventing injury in the event of an accident, new safety technology focuses accident prevention. New features under development will stop your car if there is an adult or child walking behind your car as you back up, or prompt you to change your route of travel to avoid traffic congestion, avoiding last minutes decisions that may cause accidents.
Safety analysts project that this is an important shift from "passive safety" features, which intend to keep passengers safe in the event of an accident, to more active technology which aims to stop accidents before they happen.
One technology developed over the last decade has made a difference. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Department of Transportation:
- Back-up cameras prevent reverse collisions as well as back-over accidents, which cause approximately 300 deaths per year (44% of these deaths were children under the age of five)
- Back-up cameras are especially critical for large vehicles which can make it difficult to see small children, including mini-vans and SUVs.
In addition to back-up cameras, there are also new features and systems that are able to sense imminent collisions and warn drivers of an impending accident. Some of these features will trigger an automatic brake to prevent the accident. Once just a feature for luxury cars, mid-priced cars and SUVs will now be equipped with systems to warn drivers of an imminent crash. In more advanced versions of this feature, automatic brakes will react to the sensors to stop a crash from happening. Some safety experts believe that this is the most essential safety technology since the invention of the seatbelt.
Since safety features are becoming more of a deciding factor in the purchase of a vehicle, it is important a buyer does their homework in researching the different safety features new or used vehicles have. While the cost can be expensive, the investment is priceless when it can prevent accidents that lead to personal or property damage.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in the Omaha area, you should take action quickly and contact Carlson & Burnett to set up a free consultationat (402) 810-8611 or contact us online.