Driving can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, especially with all the entertainment and safety features found in today’s vehicles. From safe driving apps to rear-facing cameras and onboard Wi-Fi, your car can offer you almost every convenience you need. If you are ready to buy a new car and want to upgrade your vehicle’s tech, there are a few modern technological features you may want to be aware of before you start narrowing down your purchasing choices.
1. Intuitive Cruise Control
Long commutes that include a lot of city driving can make using your car’s cruise control a frustrating experience. Stop-and-go driving can continually disengage the feature, requiring you to reset it each time. However, some of today’s vehicles include intuitive cruise control, which allows your car to take the reins once it gauges how you drive in city traffic.
Your vehicle’s sophisticated sensors can adjust for your driving habits and keep a safe distance between it and the car ahead of you, maintain a safe speed, and, with some models, stop and go automatically so you do not have to brake, accelerate, and then reset the system. If you commute daily, this technology can make your drive safe and pleasant.
2. Rearview Camera
Parking lots and parking garages can be dangerous places to drive, and one 2016 report noted that as many as 500 people die annually in crashes that take place in these areas. Distracted, tired, and harried drivers are usually to blame, and many of the accidents take place while they are backing up. However, new car technology can help you reduce the risk of striking another car or pedestrian while in reverse with a rearview camera system.
A rearview camera is usually built into the onboard dash and shows you the area directly behind your vehicle. Indicator lines let you know when you are approaching an object and how much room you might have to maneuver. If another car comes into the sensor area, you will be alerted. This can help you avoid low-speed crashes that may still cause damage or injury to you or your passengers.
3. Emergency Braking
Even if you follow the line of traffic in front of you at a safe distance, crashes can still happen, especially if the driver in front of you should unexpectedly slam on his or her brakes. These types of crashes can cause severe injury and chain-reaction accidents that result in multiple injuries. You can lower this risk by purchasing a vehicle that comes with emergency braking, which applies your car’s brakes instantly when the sensors read an imminent crash.
While this braking system can prevent or reduce the severity of a crash, it is important to remain alert while driving and not depend on this system if you engage in distracted driving. Remind your passengers to always wear their safety belts, as the emergency braking system causes the vehicle to stop suddenly and may throw them forward if they are not buckled in.
4. Hands-Free Speakerphone Calls
You might already understand the dangers of distracted driving, such as answering phone calls or texts while on the road. Some new cars have technology that lower the risk by handling your communications for you. Depending on the technology of the car, pairing your phone with a vehicle might allow you to answer calls by speaking, have text messages read to you, and then answer them with a talk-to-text feature. Systems like this may also allow you to control your music, map apps, and other media without taking your eyes off the road.
5. Teen Driver Safety Features
As a teenager, getting your first car can be one of the most exciting moments of your life to date. It affords you the kind of freedom you may never have experienced before, so buying a vehicle that helps you become a responsible driver may improve your habits for the long term. Some teen-friendly car technology includes a seatbelt safety system that does not allow you to turn on the ignition until you put on your seatbelt and prevents the radio volume from being set above a certain number.
These features may lower the risk of certain driving behaviors that are major contributors to teen driving accidents. While you might not appreciate them right away, they can help make you a better driver.
Vehicle technology has come a long way over the past decade. As you browse new vehicles, keep your driving habits and needs in mind so you can pair them with a car that suits them.