Safety has always been a big deal when it comes to motoring, which is why all new vehicles have to go through a EuroNCAP safety check to ensure their reliability in the case of an accident before they are approved for sale. Even seemingly simple safety measures such as seat belts, airbags and head restraints are remarkably new additions in vehicles, but safety measures are improving all the time.
When you’re looking to buy a new vehicle, there are a number of things you should be on the lookout for. At a minimum, traction control, electronic stability control and antilock braking systems should be included. Traction control will improve your vehicle’s stability in corners, whilst electronic stability control will adjust the wheels independently to correct oversteer or understeer and reduce the risk of skidding. ABS, on the other hand, will ensure that the wheels don’t lock and throw the car into a skid under heavy braking.
Many vehicles go above and beyond those basics, and it’s not just the mega-safe family cars or high-speed sports models which are given the safety treatment, either. Even commercial vehicles these days are packed with safety features. Models such as the Fiat Florin Combi focus on the essential protection from ABS with EBD, ESP and Hill-Hold technology. Other models, such as the Ducato, which offers its own Traction + system, which reduces torque in slippery conditions, improving grip whilst adding no weight to the vehicle. It also offers a Lane Departure Warning System, ensuring you don’t drift from your lane whilst on a motorway or dual carriageway.
Many other manufacturers offer technology such as blind-spot warning systems, adaptive cruise control, backup cameras, forward-collision avoidance and a number of other gadgets for improving driver safety, but the key word to consider there is ‘improving’. No amount of technology alone can make you safe on the road, which is why the most important safety gadget you have available in your vehicle is yourself.
Ensuring you stay alert, are paying attention and are ready to adapt to the changing conditions on the road is essential to driver safety. Technology and gadgets are there to aid us as drivers, but there’s absolutely no substitute for being alert and aware at all times, as well as abiding by the rules of the road and having consideration for others.