Here's your new safety tech checklist when buying a car.
They'll be mandatory in all new cars by May 2018.
Meanwhile, they're becoming pretty common.
But look for differentiating features, like a variable angle rear cam, a front cam, or surround view cameras.
Cross traffic alert.
This warns the cars that are about to T-bone you as you creep out of a blind spot.
If another vehicle is approaching from the side, the system notifies you with warning lights in the side mirrors and a warning beep.>>Adaptive or smart cruise control.
This maintains not just speed but the distance between you and the car ahead.
Cruise Control without this is beginning to seem like unguided missile mode.
Forward Collision technology, it will either warn you.
It lights up a warning on the dash and sounds an alarm to alert the driver to the vehicle ahead.
There's the warning.
Or actually apply the brakes when you're closing too fast on something in front of you.
And there's the auto brake.
Vehicle stopped by itself.
The insurance industry has found that either version of this can make a real difference in the rate of claims.
Blind spot tech.
Like forward collision, it will typically warn you of a car in your blind spot.
You'll see an amber icon illuminated in the mirror to the same side as the overtaking vehicle.
And on a few cars it will take active measures to keep you from drifting into its path.
Blind spot assist can take active measures by applying the brakes on the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle.
The vehicle is steered out of the danger zone.
Lane Departure tech, also available as a passive warning or a corrective version.
Note the calibration of this when you take a car on a test drive, this is set at the factory and some are just sort of off.
These steer with a car's turn.
They can buy you up to 15 feet of reaction time at 30 miles an hour.
That's about seven pedestrian widths, six more than you need to avoid hitting someone.
This calls out people or animals straying into your path, especially night, that you may not see.
A variant of this is night vision display which gives you a real time infrared view of the road ahead.
It's night vision that the driver that drivers see approximately three times further than is possible with conventional low beam light.
[UNKNOWN] The display shows a clear black and white image of the driving scene.
This one is still fairly rare.
Drowsy driver alert systems use a variety of sensors and cameras to monitor your driving behavior.
New innovations in this area are coming a few novel years down the road.
Most of these technologies are factory installed.
And not something you can retrofit.
So it pays to double check if your next car offers them, or if the other car on your list does.
More realities of modern driving revealed now at CNetoncars.com.
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