You spend a good deal of time in your car, commuting to and from work, running errands, and dropping the kids off at school or activities. You probably think you know your way around the driver’s seat. You know the basic safety devices, like seat belts and the emergency brake, but you might not be an expert in a few of the more complex features that can help avoid or minimize the damage in case of a car accident. Consumer Reports offers a few tips on popular vehicle control safety features.
Increasing Your Control
When you step on the gas, your wheels rotate. Without the right amount of traction, though, you’re literally “spinning your wheels,” not going anywhere. Traction control and electronic stability control (ESC) features help vehicles increase traction and get moving. Different traction and stability control systems work in different ways, but most will use sensors and brake systems to momentarily stop wheels from spinning or redirect engine power. Wondering if your car has a stability control system? Though the safety feature was not uncommon on many vehicles in recent years, ESC now comes standard on all vehicles with the model year 2012 or later.
Once you get moving, you need to be able to brake. In modern cars, antilock brakes (ABS) prevent the wheels from “locking” up, which was once a common occurrence when drivers applied the brakes too forcefully. To avoid the dangers the come with being unable to stop, engineers invented ABS, to allow drivers to steer and brake at the same time. Antilock brakes work well when drivers hit the brakes hard.
An additional braking safety system can work hand-in-hand with antilock brakes. A system called brake assist activates when the car’s sensors determine that the driver is applying a “panic stop,” or a sudden stop, such as those that may occur when:
- A vehicle brakes without warning in front of you
- A obstacle enters your path suddenly, such as an animal running across the road, another car swerving into your lane, or a pedestrian crossing the street unsafely
- Hazardous weather conditions, like ice or large puddles of rainwater
Many drivers fail to hit the brakes hard enough, according to Consumer Reports. Brake assist helps slow vehicles down quickly so that they can stop at a short distance.
How Safety Features Prevent Accidents
While devices like air bags and seatbelts can save lives when an accident occurs, braking systems and stability-control devices can help prevent accidents from happening. Think about the importance of being able to accurately steer and brake, especially in snowy, wet, or slippery road conditions.
Even with the help of these devices, safe driving requires all motorists on the road to pay attention and observe traffic laws. Following traffic laws prevents you from causing accidents, but you can still get hit by drivers that are less responsible than you are. When innocent drivers and passengers become victims of someone else’s reckless driving, the dedicated car accident lawyers at Console & Hollawell step in to fight for their legal rights. Get help today by calling (800) 455-2746 to speak to an attorney.
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