Today’s vehicles come with an abundance of new features and technologies that can aid drivers, make passengers more comfortable and provide real-time information about a vehicle’s health. Most importantly, many vehicle technologies today are designed with safety in mind and have the potential to save lives.
The trouble is, too many drivers do not realize these features exist or know how to use them to their full potential.
A recent University of Iowa study found 40 percent of drivers have been startled or surprised by something their vehicle has done—a troubling finding given that car crashes are a leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
“Technology can be a game-changer when it comes to safety,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “In order to fully recognize the benefits of these new systems, drivers need to be aware of them and also understand their limitations.”
With this need in mind, NSC partnered with the University of Iowa to launch “My Car Does What”—a virtual owner’s manual that demystifies the latest, most cutting-edge vehicle features.
The campaign’s website highlights technologies such as:
• Back-up cameras that provide a view of the blind zone directly behind the car when the vehicle is in reverse
• Blind spot monitors that alert drivers when something is in their blind spot
• Forward collision warnings that warn drivers when they are closing in on the vehicle ahead too quickly
• Automatic emergency braking systems that apply the brakes if the system detects an imminent collision
• Anti-lock braking systems that prevent wheels from locking up, helping to avoid uncontrolled skidding and providing some steering control in slippery conditions
• Rear cross traffic alerts that warn drivers if traffic is approaching from the left or right when the vehicle is in reverse
• Adaptive cruise control that maintains the speed set by the driver and a pre-set following distance
• Lane departure warnings that alert drivers if they drift into another lane when the turn signal is not activated.
“The driver will always be a car’s best safety feature; no technology today will change that,” Hersman said. “But these features can help mitigate errors before they result in deaths and injuries.”
Visit www.mycardoeswhat.org for a full list of vehicle safety technologies, explanatory videos, graphics and articles.
Provided by Statepoint