Security and Safety

Vehicle Safety Features to Look For

By Joshua Baethge 4.1.19

There was a time when car safety meant a good bumper and functional seatbelts. Technology has come a long way since then. Today, drivers have scores of options designed to protect their cars and their lives. 

“I think one of the best safety features out there today are the lane-change detectors that let you know if someone is in the space beside you,” Rudy Good, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent in Amarillo, says. Here are other safety features advised by insurance experts.

Car Alarms

It’s important to remember that not all car alarms offer the same benefits. Some won’t turn off until the key is inserted, providing an additional deterrent to smash-and-grabbers.

Others, particularly ones installed aftermarket, may go off with the slightest touch, or may turn off after a short time. Due to the frequency of false alarms, many people have become conditioned to simply ignore them.

Make sure your car is equipped with an effective security system.

Safety Features

Vehicle safety goes beyond your car alarm. When you’re in the market, check for these features to bulk up your security behind the wheel:

Sensors. While self-driving cars may not be reality yet, vehicles are getting smarter. Many now have sensors that can detect blind spots or cars approaching from behind.

Voice control. This feature allows drivers to make calls, adjust the temperature, or change the radio without looking away from the road.

Backup cameras. Like eyes in the back of your head, these can help you scan for dangers on the road.

Park Assist. If you find parallel parking stressful, this feature might be for you. Parking cameras can help you avoid collisions while backing up; some even automatically apply the brakes or use cross-traffic alert systems to warn you of something crossing your path.

Tire-pressure monitoring. Prevent dangerous blowouts on the road and extend your gas mileage with this preventive measure.

Anti-lock brakes. Prevent wheels from locking up and skidding during hard braking.

Adaptive cruise control. This sensor tracks the space between you and the vehicle ahead and sets a safe following distance while also adjusting for cruising speed.

Adaptive headlights. These smart lights pivot in the direction of travel to increase visibility.

Lane-departure warning. This alerts you with vibrations, alarms, or even visual warnings if your vehicle gets close to straying across lanes.

Blind spot detection. You may have a blind spot camera attached to the right sideview mirror; some give visual or audible warnings if a vehicle is approaching a blind spot.

Curve-speed warning. This warns you if your vehicle is approaching a curve at an unsafe speed that may result in a loss of control.

Electronic stability control. Prevent skidding and loss of control during emergencies and in unsafe road conditions.

Daytime running lights. These headlights remain lit whenever a vehicle is running to help increase visibility and prevent daytime collisions.

New Technology

Of course, technology never stands still. Carmakers have recently introduced new safety features expected to become much more common in the next four to five years:

Facial recognition. This software can actually measure driver alertness and warn you when your attention drifts.

Night vision. These sensors can detect people, bicycles, or other hazards in the road.

Emergency braking. This system automatically deploys the breaks when obstacles are detected.

Vehicle Recovery

If you are a victim of auto theft, systems like LoJack or OnStar can help by using GPS to find your missing vehicle. Some systems can even disable a car when the key is not present.

“Being able to recover a car because it has one of those systems is really beneficial,” Good says. “There’s a higher rate of finding those vehicles versus ones that don’t have a tracking system.”

The Bottom Line

Safety enhancements do more than just protect you and your property. Features like anti-lock breaks, airbags, and more may yield auto insurance discounts. Call your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent for more information, and learn more from Agents about protecting your vehicle from thieves.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2019 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance