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How new cars are incorporating more safety features

If it's been a while since the last time you've been car shopping, you may be in for a few pleasant surprises. You may not feel like your 5-year-old car is too dated, but car manufacturers have been busy with many new introductions at that time. And with all the cosmetic stuff aside, car manufacturers are incorporating many innovative safety features that make driving safer than ever.
Trevor McDonald
Naturally, higher-end vehicles always get more advanced upgrades, but even the economy cars of today are much safer than they were a decade ago. Here’s how new cars are incorporating more safety features than ever before.

Driving Control

Have you ever dreamed of having a car that’s a better driver than you? The redesigned Lexus LS sedan and Volvo XC60 may come close. These cars will literally take control over the wheel to avoid collisions in certain situations.

Many new vehicles offer some sort of pedestrian detection to alert you to potentially dangerous situations, but cars like the LS take it a step further and will steer away from danger. Other cars, like the XC60, offer fantastic safety features that will slow down and steer away from cars and other objects that are getting too close.
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Inflatable seat belts

If you've ever been unfortunate enough to be in an auto accident, you will understand the need for inflatable seat belts. Standard seat belts are incredible lifesaving devices, but they can also cause bruising and discomfort. Many will argue that it’s a small price to pay, and it is, but what if there was a better way. Enter inflatable seat belts. Much like airbags, these seat belts will inflate upon impact to help minimize head and neck motion.

Head-Up Display

Say you are driving in Cape Town and notice a police officer behind you and set your gaze on the speedometer? Of course, you have. We've all been there. And if you're going a bit too fast, you may shift your gaze from the road to the speedometer as you reduce speed to an appropriate level. Stress levels rise as you divert your attention away from the road, knowing an officer is watching your every move.

Well, with Head-Up Display (HUD), you can keep your eyes fixed on the road as you adjust your speed, if necessary. Head-Up Display projects driving data on the windshield, so you never have to look away from the road. The display projects about four feet in front of the driver and about 8 to 10 inches above the hood, and it contains all the information you need to drive safely.

HUD can include vehicle speed, blind spot monitoring, navigation, audio settings, turn signals, and speed.

Lane departure warnings

You’re probably familiar with lane departure warnings, but if you purchased your last car more than five years ago, you haven’t really lived with it. Lane departure warnings have become standard on most vehicles, along with blind spot detection. Much like anti-lock brakes, you can expect that these features will come standard on most vehicles.

Rear view and 360-view cameras

All new cars sold in 2018 and beyond will come equipped with rear-view cameras. This safety feature helps ensure that the path is clear behind you before you reverse. Sometimes, the rear-view camera is the only way you’ll see kids, small animals or other objects that are sitting close to your vehicle.

Today, many cars and SUVs also include 360-view cameras to help with parking and driving safety.

It has never been a safer time to buy a new vehicle. South Africa has one of the largest road networks in the world while having a smallish vehicle population. With every new model year, new safety features emerge that make driving safer for the whole family.
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About the author

Trevor McDonald is a freelance writer who has written for a variety of automotive, travel, and lifestyle publications. An auto-enthusiast and self-proclaimed "gear-head", Trevor loves working on cars and writing about the ensuing test-drive. In his free time, you can find Trevor working in the garage or lifting weights at the gym. He currently writes on behalf of