Alabama has some of the most dangerous roads in the country, with drivers having a 2 in 5 chance of being involved in a serious accident. In the state, 75% of crashes occur on urban roads, but 61% of fatalities happen on rural roads. These numbers highlight the need for safety features in vehicles when driving in Alabama.
New cars come with many exciting features, but at the end of the day, what really matters is how well the vehicle can protect you and your loved ones on the road. Knowing the safety features to look for in a new car and questions to ask the car dealer can help you make the best choice for your family’s safety.
Safety Features to Prioritize
When purchasing a new car, prioritize safety features over brand or aesthetics like color and design. While you want to end up with a vehicle you enjoy, choosing one with the right safety systems, such as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), anti-lock braking systems (ABS), and electronic stability control (ESC), can offer protection in the event of a collision.
- Advanced Braking Systems (ABS). Braking systems have evolved from conventional rotor and pad systems to anti-lock braking systems (ABS) that prevent wheel lock-up and maintain vehicle control during emergency braking.
- Collision avoidance technologies. These technologies are designed to help drivers avert collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians. Key technologies include forward-collision warnings (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. These systems use sensors and cameras to monitor the road and take action to prevent accidents.
- Adaptive cruise control. A feature that uses radar and sometimes laser technology to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, adaptive cruise control enhances safety and reduces driver fatigue on long journeys. It adjusts the car’s speed automatically to maintain a safe following distance, adding a layer of protection and convenience to your driving experience.
- Lane departure warning systems. Lane departure warnings and lane-keeping assist systems prevent unintentional lane departures, a common cause of accidents. These systems alert the driver or take corrective actions to ensure the vehicle remains within its lane, enhancing road safety.
- Airbags. Front airbags have been standard in cars since 1999 and can detect the driver’s and front passenger’s weight and position. Front airbags can reduce driver fatality by 29% and front passengers 13 and older by 32%. Side airbags also protect drivers, reducing the risk of death in driver-side crashes by 37% in cars and 52% in SUVs.
Additional Safety Features Worth Considering
While primary safety features like braking systems and collision avoidance are crucial, other features can add an extra layer of protection. Including some or all of these additional safety features in your new car can ensure a safer and more comfortable driving experience.
- Blind spot detection. Blind spot detection alerts you to vehicles in your blind spots, making lane changes safer. This system usually involves a light in the side mirror or a sound alert to warn you of potential hazards that aren’t visible in the rearview mirror.
- Backup cameras. When you are reversing out of a parking spot, backup cameras alert you to any approaching vehicles from the back that you might not be able to see, helping avoid collisions. These are mandatory on vehicles made after 2018, so a brand-new vehicle should have a built-in backup camera system.
- Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). TPMS alerts you when the tire pressure is too low, helping to prevent blowouts and maintain optimal fuel efficiency. It helps prolong the lifespan of your tires while ensuring a safer drive.
- Adaptive headlights. Adaptive headlights adjust their intensity and range based on your car’s speed and the road’s curvature, providing better illumination and enhancing night driving safety.
- Heads-up display (HUD). HUD projects critical information such as speed and navigation directions onto the windshield, allowing drivers to access essential data without taking their eyes off the road.
Questions to Ask Your Car Dealer
Buying a new car is a significant investment, and safety should be at the forefront of your considerations when making your choice. In addition to advanced technology safety features, assess the vehicle for general safety characteristics based on your needs.
Ask your car dealer the following questions to ensure that the car you’re buying has all the safety features you need:
- What are the car’s crash test ratings? – Ask for detailed information on the car’s performance in various safety tests.
- Does the car come equipped with anti-lock brakes? – This feature helps maintain steering control during an emergency braking situation.
- What kind of traction and stability control systems does the car have? – These systems can help prevent rollovers and maintain control in slippery conditions.
- What types of airbags does the car have? – Know if the car has front, side, knee, or overhead airbags.
- Can the airbags be turned off in any situation? – This might be necessary if you plan to install a rear-facing child seat in the front seat.
- What child safety features are available? – Ask about latch systems, child door locks, and whether the vehicle can accommodate different types of child seats.
- How does the car’s infotainment system contribute to safety? – Understand how the system can be operated safely while driving.
- Does the vehicle support smartphone integration for hands-free use? – This allows you to operate your phone safely through the car’s infotainment system.
- What warranties cover the safety features? – Knowing the warranty details can be beneficial in the long run.
- Are there any recalls on this model regarding safety features? – Ensure there are no outstanding recalls on the car’s safety features.
- Can I test the safety features during a test drive? – Insist on testing the features to understand how they work in real-life scenarios.
Contact The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers for Help After a Car Accident
Although safety features can provide protection, car accidents can still leave victims with serious injuries. If you are injured in a car crash, our Alabama car accident lawyers at The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers can help with your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact our law firm today to arrange your free consultation and learn about the options you may have to recover compensation after an accident. We work on contingency, so you won’t owe us anything upfront.