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Publish Date - January 26, 2022

Author: Roni Davis

Categories:   Useful Automotive Information   

3 Advanced Car Safety Features You Should Know

Vehicle safety features are progressing at a fast rate these days. As technology advances and becomes cheaper, more readily available, cars, too, are advancing in their safety capabilities. These safety features are becoming more prevalent on the road, and your next vehicle purchase may have a few you’re not accustomed to.

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Vehicle safety features are progressing at a fast rate these days. As technology advances and becomes cheaper, more readily available, cars, too, are advancing in their safety capabilities. These safety features are becoming more prevalent on the road, and your next vehicle purchase may have a few you’re not accustomed to.

So, for those interested in staying safe on the road (aren’t we all?) and for the person whose clunker is about to tip its cap for the final time, let’s check out three brand new vehicle safety features recommended by a respected car accident lawyer you should get to know.

Driver-Attention Monitor

Driving at night on a long stretch of road with nothing to keep you company but the occasional passerby, a massive yawn overcomes you, stretching your jaw to its limit. Suddenly, your eyelids feel like they're being pinned down to your cheekbones. Loud music and bursts of wind from an open window aren’t doing the trick.

Without warning, you’re in la-la land, barreling high-speed toward a median with only seconds to react before tragedy unfolds.

This is either the opening to a tense Hollywood thriller or the series of events before an unfortunate driver meets their fate. Sadly, it’s more likely to be the latter: In 2020, Americans drove less during the height of the pandemic, and still, some 38,000+ people died in car crashes that year, an increase of approximately 7.2% over 2019.

It’s clear we have a problem.

The solution? It may be a new device called a “driver-attention monitoring system.”

A driver-attention monitor is a device that measures a driver’s ability to stay focused on the road. Attention monitors use cameras and sensors to document a number of variables, including eye movement, head position, and eyelid activity. The device alerts drivers when their attention is waning, possibly saving them a trip to the hospital or worse.

Lexus was the first automobile maker to begin installing these devices, with companies like Volvo and Cadillac following suit. More than ten years since the first devices were installed, most automakers include some form of this safety technology in their vehicles, typically bundled with an advanced driving assistance system (ADAS).

For its next act, driver-attention monitoring systems will come stocked with facial recognition software, making it even easier for these supercomputers to recognize your eyes diverting to your phone. Subaru is the first automaker to begin employing facial recognition technology in their vehicles with its patented EyeSight ADAS suite.

Expect more automakers to follow their lead.

Heads Up Display

A heads-up display (HUD) is a technology that projects an image below a driver’s line of sight directly onto the windshield. Although it simply displays dashboard information, like speed, it’s considered a safety feature because it deters drivers from taking their eyes off the road.

Most HUDs are reflections of a mirrored image emitting directly from the top of the dashboard. More and more vehicles are including HUDs in their package options, and some are coming stock with even standard models.

If your favorite automaker doesn’t include HUD as a standalone option, you can expect the cost to be around $500 to install it. The Lexus RX’s HUD, for example, is an extra $600, while the Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Sedan bundles the feature for $1,100.

You can expect HUDs as an option on most vehicles. MINI offers the feature on all of their models, and Mazda only has one model, the MX-5 Miata, that doesn’t offer it. In all, more than 130 models across 30 automakers offer HUD technology.

Traffic Sign Recognition

There’s a bevy of distractions on the road at any given time: a caravan of school kids crossing the street; unruly drivers hogging the road; a wayward animal darting across your lane. These things are more than distractions, though. They’re hazards that can cause accidents and must be paid attention to.

You’re likely going to miss a few things, though, as you struggle to contain every stimulus in your purview. At the top of the list: road signs.

Traffic sign recognition systems are here to make sure you never miss a stop or speed limit sign again because they can be easy to forget when you're speeding down the road blasting your favorite song.

The technology works by using front-facing cameras to “recognize” signs and display their vital information on your dashboard display. Some traffic sign recognition systems give feedback like haptic (vibration) sensations or audible alarms alerting you if you’re going over the speed limit. Additionally, many traffic recognition systems save information internally, so they don’t have to “read” the same signs every time you pass them.

Traffic sign recognition systems usually come packaged with ADAS systems. Contact your local car dealership or check online for which models are currently bundling this safety feature with their models.