Blog Car Safety Features : Which Ones Top The List?

Sep 21, 2020

Safety Features To Consider When Choosing A Vehicle

Graphic of car safety features

Car safety features are an important consideration when choosing a vehicle. Over the past few years, the number of vehicle safety features has ballooned. There is a lot more to choose from than airbags and anti-lock braking systems. Park assist, backup cameras, parking sensors and other technology are all helping to improve road safety. They can also make it more challenging for you to know what vehicle package to choose.

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? Looking for some aftermarket safety devices to improve your vehicle? Here we’ll outline the top safety features in vehicles today. Learn about mandatory car safety features and how they can affect your car insurance quote.

Top 10 New Safety Features When Buying A Vehicle

Car Safety Features List

New vehicles have many safety features that can help prevent common accidents and make roads safer for all. Here are the top ten new vehicle safety features.

  1. Blind Spot Detection : Blind spots are hidden from the view of the driver. They are usually located on the side near the trunk of the vehicle. They vary based on the vehicle. Blind spot detection systems will trigger when you are changing lanes or if someone is driving in your blind spot. But, remember this is not a replacement for checking your mirrors.
  2. Lane Assist : Lane-keeping assist and lane departure warning is a group of sensors that will detect the lines on the road. If the vehicle edges along the line the sensor will beep to notify the driver.
  3. Forward Collison Warning : Forward Collison Warning (FCW) is a series of signals on the four sides of the vehicle to create safe distance. If there is an obstruction or space is penetrated, the system will alert the driver.
  4. Autonomous Emergency Braking : This can replace FCW and will stop the vehicle without the driver’s intervention. It will be more precise when determining emergencies.
  5. Backup Cameras : Also called reverse cameras. They assist drivers when reversing. They show a visual of behind the vehicle and have lines on the in-car video to aid with parking.
  6. Pedestrian Detection : This aims to protect those outside the vehicle. This feature has a camera that monitors movement by pedestrians and cyclists and will alert the driver. Some have the option to automatically brake. This can be especially helpful if you are driving in the city and want to lower your Toronto car insurance.
  7. Rear Cross Traffic Alert : This uses sensors to identify pedestrians or vehicles that approach the vehicle from the sides or back. This feature is useful in crowded parking lots and busy streets.
  8. Parking Sensors : Also called proximity sensors, they aid drivers when maneuvering into a parking spot. The sensors can detect other parked cars, tall curbs and other obstructions.
  9. Driver-Attention Monitor: This helps to prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving and distracted driving. The system monitors the car movements and steering to see if the driver is driving attentively.
  10. Traffic-Sign Recognition : This is a camera-based system that looks for road signs and presents the data to the driver as a reminder.

Can Safety Features Lower Car Insurance?

Air bags inside car

Vehicle safety features help reduce the risk of crashes. Unfortunately, they rarely lower insurance. The overall vehicle safety rating will have a bigger impact on lower policy costs.

Sometime, advanced safety features can actually increase insurance premiums. Why? Advanced safety features and technology are more expensive to repair due to the sensors and electronics. This drives up the cost of a car insurance claim.

What Car Safety Features Are Mandatory In Canada?

All vehicles in Canada must meet the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Here are must have safety features in a car that are required by law in Canada.

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is required on every new vehicle sold in Canada. Vehicles without ABS risk the wheels locking up and sliding if a driver slams the brakes. ABS will pump the brakes allowing the tires to grip the road and stop, faster than a driver could.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) determines where the vehicle is going in relation to the direction you are steering. For example, if it detects a skid, it will apply the brake on specific wheels.
  • Traction Control is part of the ESC system. It will activate if one wheel spins on a slippery surface, traction control will apply the brakes.
  • Airbags will come with six main airbags – in the steering wheel, the passenger side dash, front seat-side airbags and certain airbags.
  • Brakes must have disc brakes on the front and rear wheels.
  • Seatbelts are required for every seating position in your vehicle.
  • Mirrors should be attached externally to the driver and passenger sides.
  • Rear-view cameras were made a required safety feature in all light-duty vehicles as of 2018.
  • Child Seat Anchors (LATCH) must be installed on all vehicles, but some are easier to use than others. If you are buying a new vehicle and will be using a child seat, bring the seat with you to try.

Car Safety Features FAQs

Here are the most asked questions about car safety features :

There are some aftermarket safety features you can add to your vehicle. Some can be done at home while others will need to be installed by a professional. Here are four safety features to consider adding to your car :

  1. Forward Collison Warning/Lane Departure Warning Systems : For around $1,000 you can add forward-collision warning to your car. This system will send an alert when a collision up to 2.7 seconds away. Another option is to add a dash cam to record the space around you when driving.
  2. Backup Camera : Whether you are driving a large SUV or a sports car, a backup camera can show what is behind you and a wide-angle view. Adding a backup camera can add up to $300 to your invoice.
  3. Blind Spot Detection : Blind spot systems use sensors to monitor the space around the vehicle and flash an icon to the driver if there is an obstruction within 10 feet of the vehicle.
  4. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems : This safety system will send an alert if there is a deflated tire, which can cause overheating, blow out, and even crashes.

Although many new vehicles are equipped with more safety features than ever, there is five common safety features in a car include :

  1. Airbags
  2. Antilock brakes
  3. Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  4. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  5. Adaptive Headlights

Active safety features are put in place to totally avoid an accident. In the event of a collision occurring, passive safety features are meant to activate and reduce the risk of injury during the time of impact. Active safety features include traction control, stability control, braking systems, advanced driver assist and collision warning. Passive safety features include seat belts, air bags, and overall construction of the vehicle.

Adding new car safety features can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a vehicle. Some are very helpful, while others are useful and fall into the nice to have category. You really need to determine if you will use them or not. They may or may not be worth it.

Car safety features lower the chances of an accident, but it does not mean you can ignore checking your blind spots and mirrors. They can help you stay safe and give you peace of mind you have more protection.