Sure, airbags, seatbelts, and automatic braking systems are a few basic safety features that are required on all modern cars, but they all started out as “new” technology at some point. Here are a few modern safety features to add to your must-have list.
A backup camera (bonus points if you shoot for the 360-degree cameras):
If your current car has a backup camera, then you already know what a lifesaver it is. If this will be a new feature for you, you’re in for a treat. Backup cameras take the stress out of parallel parking on a busy street and make backing into the garage without taking out a row of bicycles a breeze, and give you a much better view. Side view cameras typically offer blind spot monitoring and further enhance the benefits of your backup camera by offering a 360-degree view around your vehicle, meaning backing out of a driveway on a busy street or trying to reverse out of a tight spot in a busy parking lot is easier and safer.
Apple Carplay, Android Auto, or Bluetooth connectivity
The safest habit regarding technology use in the car would be to ban it entirely and not touch your phone, music player, or touch screen at all while you’re driving, but realistically, you’re going to reach for one of your devices at some point while you’re cruising down the road. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to place and accept calls, change the radio station, and get directions to your destination all without taking your hands off of the steering wheel. Bluetooth connectivity is becoming a staple safety feature, particularly for drivers who travel for work or log long hours on the road and can’t avoid taking phone calls while they’re driving. Features like Apple Carplay and Android Auto make your smartphone’s integration even easier but aren’t as widely available as standard Bluetooth connectivity.
Collision warning and emergency braking
Though some car buyers fear that these features are crossing into autonomous car territory, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll change your tune once your car automatically helps you avoid a fender bender. Automatic collision avoidance technology measures your speed and the distance between your car and the object or car in front of you to warn you that you’re risking a potential collision; if you disregard this notice, your car’s brakes will engage to prevent a head-on collision. Don’t worry, your car won’t automatically tap the brakes while you’re cruising down the highway. Collision avoidance systems are intended to make driving in congested traffic conditions and more urban settings less risky.
Your options can be overwhelming when you’re searching for a new car. Do you want and need all of the latest technology, or would you prefer something simpler (and more budget-friendly)? What color? Brand new or new-to-you? Sometimes the easiest place to start is by deciding how much space you want.