Having a vehicle with top-notch safety features can go miles toward keeping you and your passengers safe, especially when driving in inclement conditions. What should you look for in a car or truck? Let’s take a look…
All-Wheel or Four-Wheel Drive – These systems, which feed power to each tire, offer more traction than rear- or front-wheel drive vehicles. They can make it easier to navigate snow-covered streets, parking lots, and driveways.
LED Taillights – LED taillights have several advantages over halogen taillights. They are brighter, making it easier to see at night and in fog, rain, snow, and sleet. Also, they last longer, which means less maintenance and lower costs in the long run.
Adaptive Headlights – This automatic feature helps to make driving in low-light conditions and at night safer by improving visibility when going over hills and around bends. Adaptive headlights automatically react to the car’s steering, speed, and elevation, adjusting how they illuminate the road. For example, if you steer the vehicle to the left, adaptive headlights will automatically angle to the left. Or, if you’re heading up a steep hill, adaptive headlights will angle upward so you can better see what’s ahead of you on the incline.
Lane Departure Warning Systems – A lane departure warning system (LDWS) lets you know if your car has begun to go over a lane marker. It helps prevent you from unintentionally crossing the center line (or highway lane lines) and entering the path of other cars. Some systems alert drivers with a visual, audible, or vibration warning signal. Others will also automatically apply steering assistance to keep the vehicle in its lane
Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Braking Systems – Together, these systems can help avoid accidents. Forward collision warning systems use sensors to determine how fast the vehicle ahead of you is going and compute the distance between your car and that vehicle. Automatic braking systems kick into gear to adjust your vehicle’s speed if they detect you are at risk of a collision and need to slow down. These systems can be especially beneficial when adverse weather conditions limit what drivers can see. They can help avert disasters by slowing down vehicles even when drivers are unaware of upcoming road hazards or traffic dangers.
Traction Control – This safety feature helps prevent vehicles from slipping—especially on wet, icy, or snowy surfaces—when they accelerate. Electronic sensors monitor the speed of each wheel and activate the brakes of one or more wheels automatically (or reduce the engine’s power to the wheel) if they are spinning faster than the other wheels. Traction control helps vehicles maintain their grip on the road by regulating and equalizing wheel speed.
Electronic Stability Control – Electronic stability control (ESC) facilitates a safe driving situation regardless of the weather conditions. ESC uses computerized controls and sensors to monitor steering wheel input, automatically decrease engine power, and apply brakes to individual wheels to help prevent spinouts and rollovers. The feature helps drivers maintain control over their vehicles if they oversteer or understeer during challenging circumstances, such as hydroplaning or skidding on snow or ice.