We all know about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and the safety breakthrough effect that airbags have had on the car community. Here are a few more safety features that modern technology has contributed to the automobile industry.
The most important and fundamental part of automobile safety is the attempted avoidance of collisions in the first place. This is accomplished by the solid performance of the vehicle's braking and steering systems as well as the mirrors, lights, and suspension. Modern technology has aided and increased the reliability of these functions.
Braking is enhanced with features such as anti-lock braking, cornering brake control, and electronic brakeforce distribution systems. These greatly diminish the chances that the car will skid, slip on wet surfaces, or lose control when braking suddenly. Using computers and sensors to help the systems calculate the force and application of each brake on each wheel helps these systems to perform at optimal levels no matter what the conditions.
For driving in the dark, some cars now come equipped with infrared night vision, adaptive highbeams, and automatically swiveling headlights. Infrared headlights can extend the driver's range of vision far beyond the traditional headlight range. Adaptive beams avoid blinding oncoming vehicles by adjusting the intensity of their light in accordance with the proximity of the vehicles. Swiveling headlights automatically point the beams of light around upcoming corners.
The mirroring systems of today's cars have also been greatly improved through modern technology. Many cars now come with a backup camera and sensors to alert the driver when he is in danger of reversing into an object. There is a lane departure warning system and a blind spot warning system to advise if there may be conditions of which the driver is not aware. Adaptive cruise control will maintain the driver's predetermined speed, but also slow the car down if it approaches another vehicle too rapidly.
Another safety system is the tire pressure monitor that helps to warn when a tire's pressure is getting too low and detect leaks. The traction control system helps to stabilize the wheels if they begin to spin on a slick surface.
A secondary but also crucial part of automobile safety is making the car as injury-free as possible in case of an unavoidable accident. Injury-free crumple zones help to divert the collision's force away from the vehicle's occupants. Laminated windshields stay in one piece even when shattered and prevent glass injury as well as occupant ejection. Instrument panel padding and collapsible steering columns help to reduce the risk of damage from the various inner components of the car.