Don't buy a new car unless it has these 4 safety features
These days, new cars come with all kinds of bells and whistles.
Some of these techy features are really useful and some are more gimmicky. But there are a few safety features in new cars that basically give you a third eye.
Here's a look at four accident avoidance technologies that I've found most useful, all of which you should definitely check for when purchasing your next car.
1. Blind spot detection
The blind spot alert feature is basically a light on the side view mirror that begins blinking anytime another vehicle is in your blind spot.
Some of these systems also issue an audio alert to make sure you know not to change lanes yet.
While this is an incredibly simple feature, it's a game changer for driver safety. Just think of how many times you've almost switched lanes only to jerk back because a car was in your blind spot.
What's more, it will also detect if a pedestrian or a bicyclist is out of your field of vision.
2. Lane keeping assist
When activated, lane keeping assist helps keep you from wandering into someone else's lane.
A camera-based system detects the lane marking to keep you in the center of the lane. If the system notices that you are moving too close to the left or to the right, it will gently steer you back to the proper position.
3. Rear-view cam
This is such a simple feature that comes in a lot of new cars today, but man, how did we ever live without it?
Once you shift to reverse, the screen automatically shows you what is behind you. It's incredibly handy when getting out of tight spaces, and helps ensure you don't hit something or someone behind you.
US regulators realize how valuable these systems are, so the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is making rear-visibility technology mandatory in new vehicles by May 2018. However, most automakers are already adding the systems to new vehicles.
4. Heads-up display
One of the worst things about car navigation systems is that you have to constantly glance away to either a smartphone or an infotainment display to see the map.
This is not only annoying, it's dangerous.
Heads-up displays help solve this problem by putting basic navigation information right in front of you on the windshield so you never have to take your eyes off the road.
My favorite experience with a heads-up display has been in Audi's 2017 Q7. In this vehicle, the display is in full color and it shows you not only upcoming turns, but also the speed limit and how fast you are driving.
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