How safe is your car? Even if you’re a good driver, there are many idiots on the road, and one day, you could be in their path. And you can’t control things like weather conditions (which can significantly affect visibility or the efficiency of your brakes) or plain bad luck.
The key, then, is to not just drive safely, but to install safety gadgets into your car. That way if (knock on wood) something happens, you improve you and your family’s chances of getting out with nary a scratch.
Yes, they’re already there—just use them. Seatbelts prevent us from flying off and impacting against the dashboard or the windshield. You also need rear seatbelts to properly attach portable car seats. If you have more than one child who needs a carseat or booster seat, check how many your car model can accommodate.
2. Anti-lock brakes
Normal brakes stop the wheels from turning, which causes the tires to skid. Anti-lock brakes absorb the force gradually, a must on slippery roads.
Upon high-speed impact, these airbags burst open from the front or side of the car’s interior and cushion the force. Take note that suffocation may occur if passenger is not seated properly. Some car models have ‘intelligent’ airbags that can gauge whether or not an impact is strong enough to require release. Others have an occupant position detection system, which determines whether the front or side air bags should open, depending on your height and where you are seated.
4. Safety glass or Tempered glass
Automobile glass is special. Side windows are made of tempered glass, which when shattered, breaks into little cubes to prevent serious injury. Front windshields are further treated with laminated safety glass, which in addition to breaking up into cubes also gingerly holds together better than tempered glass. Take note that tinting your windows gives even further protection as this adds another film to hold the glass together.
5. Backup sensors
These infrared sensors beep the closer you get to an object. More expensive models include a rear view microcamera that projects an image of your rear onto a dashboard screen. They’re great for parking!
6. High intensity discharge lamps
These headlights emit a whiter beam that mimics natural sunlight. Ideal for nighttime driving, they grant better visibility. Caution must be exercised in installing these headlights – they must be properly calibrated. The beams must be focused more on the road so as not to shine on the faces of other drivers.
7. Night vision cameras
Some luxury cars come with night vision cameras that emit an infrared beam that is detected by sensors in the front of the car. A computer translates the images and projects it onto the windshield like a hologram. This feature allows visibility even in rain, fog, sleet or snow.
Some car models are also known for excellent engineering and structure that help protect passengers upon impact. Check this list of the safest cars in the world.