If there is a hidden strategy with new car technology, it is to create a car that is smarter than the driver! Every year vehicles roll off the line with greater safety features than the last. What was unheard of ten years ago is now standard on the most basic of models. There is high demand for these features, and the auto industry is responding. Automakers are adding more and more high-tech designs all in the name of safety.

New cars can park themselves, detect impending crashes, brake automatically, warn the driver when the car swerves out of a lane, shine the headlights around a curve, and much more. The big question is, do we really need these features or are they just unnecessary overkill? Here is a quick overview to help you decide.

Collision Avoidance Systems

This high tech safety feature scans the road ahead of your car and alerts the driver if a crash appears imminent. Should the driver not respond to the warning, some systems will actually brake automatically, tighten the seat belts and tilt the driver seat to reduce the chance of injury. At this point, these systems are available as add-ons, but well worth the price with its proven safety record. This year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety changed the way it hands out the rating of Top Safety Pick+ – the vehicle must have the collision avoidance systems with automatic braking capabilities.

Photo credit autoguide.com

Photo credit autoguide.com

Backup Camera System

Ever reversed in your car only to feel a bump and find out you ran over something out of your sight? I have, and it’s generally not a lot of fun to deal with. Well fear no more, by the year 2018 every new car sold will come equipped with this camera. This now standard feature shows the driver what is behind the vehicle in those hidden spots out of sight of the rear-view and side mirrors as it backs up. Do we need it? Sure. Should we still be looking back before we reverse and checking all of those mirrors – yes. But back up cameras have proven to be effective to avoid hitting people or objects behind you.

Photo by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Photo by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Adaptive Headlights

Have you ever had one of those close calls while driving at night? You suddenly come across a deer in the middle of the road. Very scary and very dangerous! These headlights measure your speed, steering angle and rotation, and then adjust to better illuminate your path around a curve in the road. We sure have come a long way from intermittent wipers.

These headlights may seem unnecessary; however they have proven themselves with their safety record and are reducing the number of accidents and insurance claims. Well worth it, indeed.

Lane Departure Warning System

For a myriad of reasons we can find ourselves drifting into the other lane. Drivers get sleepy behind the wheel, are distracted by others in the vehicle, or (hopefully not) they are on their phone. Yikes! This system can detect this shift, a warning light flashes and the car gently veers back into the travel lane. Wow, that just saved your life.

This system, however, can never replace an attentive driver. It is important to note that it may not operate properly in some conditions, such as very bright or low sunlight and in times of heavy rain.

Humans are living longer and it’s not just doctors and medicine we should be thanking. These auto makers have successfully reduced the fatality rate of car accidents by nearly 50% over the last decade, mostly all attributable to these new tech savvy safety additions. The enhanced safety features in combination with a telematics insurance policy could result in a heavier wallet for yourself with large savings on your automobile policy. To learn more about the potential savings and the telematics program visit our McDougall Insurance discounts page. If you’re interested in receiving a free auto quote you can visit McDougall Insurance’s auto quote page.