Safety in cars has grown from the early days of motor vehicles. American cars didn’t even have seat belts until 1949 when Nash Motors started offering them as an optional feature.
Assisted Braking Systems (ABS), such as anti-lock brakes, appeared on high end cars as far back as the 1960s and on most regular cars by the 1990s. In the decades that followed, advancements in car computers and other technologies transformed vehicle safety.
Nowadays, safety features come in all shapes and forms, from protective shields for emergencies to everyday tech that assists with parking and visibility.
So, what’s new in the automotive industry for 2022?
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
Road accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. A Boynton Beach car accident attorney will tell you that vehicle collisions account for the majority of personal injury claims. Accidents are unavoidable, whether resulting from a driver’s negligence or reckless behavior, or a vehicle part malfunctioning—but car manufacturers are trying to change that.
Most car accidents result from human error, which is why carmakers have started introducing automated and smart safety features on new cars. These technologies aim to minimize and even prevent accidents from happening.
Automatic Emergency Braking is one such feature. AEB activates the brakes on the car to avoid an accident or, at the very least, minimise the consequences. AEB reacts faster than a human and can also apply more pressure and brake harder even if you have already started to slow down.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states a voluntary initiative amongst car makers to fit AEB as standard for all new passenger vehicles by August 31, 2023.
Teen Tech to Keep Young Drivers Safe
In 2019, nearly 2,500 teens aged between 13 and 19 died in motor vehicle crashes. Another 258,000 received treatment in emergency departments for injuries sustained in road accidents. Car accidents are the second leading cause of teen death, and car makers are trying to change that.
Keeping young drivers safe is a real focus for many automakers. GM has a Teen Driver suite of features on some GMC, Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac cars and SUVs.
These systems give parents monitoring rights and will advise if the car hits a certain speed, disable the audio if the seatbelts are not engaged, and can set a volume limit on the sound system.
Most Lincoln and Ford models feature the MyKey system. It is not new tech and has been around for about a decade. This allows a parent to configure specific settings in the key fob like top speed, audio volume and traction control.
Road safety is non-negotiable. You won’t find anyone who doesn’t think safety features on cars are not a good idea. Besides protecting you from injury or death, it can also save you money in terms of auto repairs and sometimes lower insurance premiums and costs.
Safety features on autos are moving inexorably towards the vision of fully automated driving. The future where cars remove the need for any human input and, consequently, zero human error is fast-approaching, and these technologies in 2022 are just the start.