Seat belts and air bags have long made drivers and passengers safer in their vehicles in the event of accidents, but in recent years, a whole host of additional high-tech safety features have been added to cars, trucks, and SUVs, further improving their safety.
Per a report by the Associated Press and WKRN.com, two of the most prominent safety features that are reducing accidents are lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that both safety features have significantly reduced crashes since they were added to vehicles.
However, the study by the institute also found that the systems may cause drivers to be less vigilant about their driving—especially if they become too reliant on the safety features protecting them from crashes. Vehicles equipped with lane departure warning systems were 21 percent less likely to be involved in crashes with injuries, while vehicles with blind-spot warning systems were 23 percent less likely to be involved in injury accidents.
The director of automotive engineering for the Automobile Association of America says that the findings are encouraging, but he also cautioned that drivers should understand both their capabilities and limitations before getting behind the wheel.
3 Common Vehicle Safety Features that Save Lives
While the safety features listed above are helpful for avoiding crashes, many vehicles aren’t equipped with them, as they’ve only been available on certain models for less than a decade. However, all modern cars, trucks, and SUVs are equipped with other safety features that save lives every day, and it’s vital for drivers to understand how they work and to use them properly.
Those three safety features include:
- Seat belts
There’s no safety device more effective at reducing serious and potentially life-threatening injuries than seat belts. These essential devices are equipped in every modern vehicle and should be used every time you drive or ride in a car, truck, or SUV, with no exceptions. It’s also important to keep an eye on your vehicle’s seat belts. If they appear worn, frayed, or torn, get them replaced immediately, as they may have lost their effectiveness.
- Air bags
While seat belts are highly effective at keeping vehicle occupants in place when they’re involved in collisions, they may still be at risk of striking the steering wheel, dashboard, or doors and windows during crashes. Air bags were developed to soften the impact and reduce head, neck, and brain injuries. If your airbags deploy during an accident, they should be immediately replaced. You should also have your vehicle serviced if your instrument panel indicates a problem with its airbags.
- Tire pressure warnings
All new vehicles sold in the United States have been required to have tire pressure warning systems since 2008. These systems were added in response to many fatal accidents caused by tire blowouts caused by under or over-inflated tires. If your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system, keep a close eye on it every time you get behind the wheel. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your tire pressure and to inflate them as necessary. If your tires are damaged, replace them right away.
While modern vehicles have many safety features designed to prevent accidents, the best method for preventing a crash is following safe driving practices. That means driving at or below the speed limit, avoiding distractions, never following other vehicles too closely, never driving while impaired or intoxicated, and adjusting your driving habits during inclement weather.
And while modern safety features are highly effective at reducing accidents and the severity of injuries, they can’t prevent them entirely—especially when other drivers are careless. If you or someone you know was hurt in a crash that was caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation. Matt Hardin Law’s team of Nashville auto accident attorneys can review the facts of your case and help you maximize your chances of getting money for your medical bills and lost wages.
Contact us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing a free online form.