9 Safety Features You Need to Check in a Car Before Buying
Car safety features are a major concern, no matter if it’s a new or old car. People usually focus on trying to improve the car’s handling as well as prevent any mishap from happening.
Before buying a vehicle, it is a good idea to check how well the car performs; this is so that a person can realize if the vehicle’s safety features work or not and decide accordingly.
For better understanding, let’s talk about these security features:
In the case a car meets with a crash, seat belts help prevent the person within the car from getting hurt and are designed to keep them within the vehicle. Seat belts also reduce the risk of a person colliding with the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield.
There have been advancements in the seat belts designs, and now seat belts carry further features to improve the safety.
The features like Adjustable upper straps that let a person change the shoulder strap’s position for accommodating a person’s size as well as seat belt pre-tensioners, which retract the seat belt to remove any excess slack are useful parts. These deserve to be checked for accuracy.
Seat belts aren’t entirely enough in preventing an injury or ensuring the complete safety. Based on the stiffness of the struck object and the speed of the impact, frontal air bags are deployed for preventing the occupants from hitting the steering wheel, windshield, and dashboard. Apart from frontal air bags, side air bags also reduce the further risk of the occupants being affected by the door or the objects, which can come crashing through it.
Even though air bags are useful and provide life-saving benefits, but they also can be hazardous, in the cases when the occupant isn’t wearing a seatbelt. Since the air bags deploy at such fast speeds, a person needs to be restrained in some basic level to ensure they don’t end up hurting themselves. Hence, air bags in general, haven’t eliminated the need for the seat belts and require a seat belt to be worn at all times. Additionally, frontal air bags aren’t designed to offer protection in the case of rollovers, side or rear impacts.
Because of the potentially high speed at which the air bag is deployed, children can get injured or worse by them. Due to this reasons, children below 12 years should be sat in the rear seat. In case the child is small, it is advisable to use a car child seat, especially for infants, rear facing child seat is to be used.
Head Injury Protection
Head injury protection in a vehicle consists of foam/other energy absorbing materials under the vehicle’s interior trim and is most likely not to be visible to the occupants of the car. Also, while all the head air bags have been designed for deploying during side impacts, some of them even deploy during rollovers of any kind. They help protect the occupants from injuries which can be caused when the head strikes the upper interior of the vehicle.
These are extensions of the vehicle’s seats which limit head movement during a rear-impact crash. This helps reduce the possibility of any neck injury. In the front seats, head restraints that meet the particular size, as well as strength requirement, are required, although the same isn’t true for the rear seats. Use of dynamic head restraints should be preferred.
Antilock Brake System(ABS)
An antilock brake system (ABS) is useful in preventing a vehicle’s wheels from getting locked during panic braking. This allows the car driver a higher steering control, which is a key factor in avoiding a collision.
Although, it is important to learn how to use the ABS correctly as it is merely a preventive system and won’t be able to guarantee anybody’s ability to crash or not to.
In fact, a person is still liable to lose control while driving at excessive speeds as well as when doing extreme steering maneuvers.
All the passenger cars that are equipped with ABS are provided with four-wheel ABS. On the other hand, Sport utility vehicles, vans, and trucks that are equipped with ABS have a choice between either two-wheel or four-wheel ABS.
The difference between two and four wheel ABS is that while two wheel ABS only controls and monitors the car’s rear wheels, while the four-wheel ABS monitor and control all the car wheels.
Additionally, some ABS also have the provision of brake assist; this senses emergency braking by speed or force detection of the driver’s pressing the brake and boost the power as needed.
Traction control systems are known to improve the vehicular stability by controlling the total amount that the drive wheels can slip when excess power is applied. The car Traction control system will auto adjust the engine’s power output and in quite a few cases, apply braking force to the selected wheels during acceleration. The system is mostly found in the vehicles that have four-wheel antilock brake systems.
All-wheel drive in a car can equally distribute the power to both, the rear as well as the front wheels for maximizing traction. When combined with traction control, the all-wheel drive systems don’t prevent the wheels from slipping as excess power is applied during acceleration.
Electronic Stability Control
Electronic Stability Control has been designed for assisting the drivers in maintaining control of vehicles in extreme steering maneuvers. ESC module senses when a car starts spinning out(oversteer) or plow out(understeer), and then auto applies the brakes to the single wheel as required.
The intended use is to reduce the crash occurrences in the cases when the vehicle veers off the road and strike soft shoulders, guard trails, curbs, as well as another object that can initiate rollovers. Although, it won’t be able to keep a vehicle on the road if the speed is greater for the curve as well as the available traction.
As per the crash data, a car that is heavier is more likely to offer protection than as compared to light vehicle, both of which are armed with the same safety equipment.
Now that you know what to check before buying a car let’s not forget to work on it!