An overlooked but critical component of your safety on the road is what type of vehicle you are in.
Safety has come a long way in just a few short years. Take automatic emergency braking (AEB), which is now standard on 2021 vehicles produced by 12 major automakers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The technology has already been proven to reduce collisions and force of impact by stopping or slowing a vehicle when a collision is imminent. Nearly all automakers have agreed to voluntarily include the equipment in nearly all new vehicles by Sept. 1, 2022.
IIHS estimates AEB could prevent 42,000 serious crashes in the next three years.
Some Manufacturers Slow to Adopt Safe Technologies
Ford and Honda are the most recent automakers to comply with the new standards, which are also backed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and are being incorporated into vehicle ratings by Consumer Reports.
But only 58 percent of General Motors vehicles sold in 2021 had AEB. And Stellantis, the parent company of Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, and Ram, equipped only 43 percent of its 2021 vehicles with this critical life-saving technology. Porsche and Land Rover have also been slow to include the technologies in some models, according to IIHS.
In general, U.S. manufacturers have a ways to go when it comes to producing safer vehicles. A host of foreign vehicles are among the safest rated by IIHS, including Honda, Kia, Hyundai and Toyota.
The NHTSA offers an easy way for consumers to search safety ratings by make and model of vehicle.
Safer Cars Make Safer Roads
If it’s been a few years since you have shopped for a new vehicle, you will likely be surprised by many of the latest safety features. Some safety technologies have become almost standard, including traction control, anti-lock brakes, side airbags, tire-pressure monitoring, and automatic lighting. Even backup cameras became standard in all new vehicles sold in the U.S. as of 2017.
However, other advanced technology remains optional.
- Crash avoidance: Some vehicles can take evasive action or apply brakes to avoid a collision.
- Blind-spot warning: Audible warnings and lights in the side mirrors can warn of a vehicle in your blind spot.
- Adaptive cruise control: Can slow a vehicle operating in cruise when it is approaching slower traffic.
- Lane departure warning: Can let you know when you are leaving your lane.
- Cross traffic alert: Can reduce your risks of being in a broadside collision, statistically among the most dangerous types of crashes.
Unfortunately, these more advanced features are often sold as part of a higher trim level and more expensive vehicle. But do your research. You will often find these same vehicles selling for $3,000-$5,000 more on the used market, which means these safety features are holding their value when it comes to resale.
Money aside, our car accident attorneys know you can substantially reduce your risks of a collision by spending a few extra dollars on a safer vehicle for you and your family. That peace of mind will be priceless.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.