Posted on March 7th, 2017

What safety technologies are in your final bracket?

March is here and it is time for America to turn its eyes to what else? Basketball.

While everyone loves the scintillating slam dunk or the clutch three-point shot, most of these exciting plays need that heads-up player who provides the assist: that key pass or pick that makes the play happen.

Likewise, the safety technology available in the latest cars and trucks can provide drivers with an “assist” that can help avoid or reduce the chances of a crash.

There are plenty of safety features that have worked their way into most cars manufactured over the past few years. Think about ABS (anti-lock braking systems) and traction control. These are features that might provide better stopping and steering control, and for an extra three-pointer—could possibly provide a discount on insurance premiums.

But if we had to choose—and in the spirit of March Madness—here are our final four safety features that we think we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future.

You can’t have too much help when you need it. Not everyone has the reflexes of a point guard or the stopping ability of a power forward. Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Brake Assist are here to assist, each in their own unique way. Brake assist doesn’t stop the car for you, it simply applies additional pressure when it detects an emergency braking event (once the brakes have been applied by the driver). AEB uses sensors to track slow or stopped traffic and urgently applies the brakes when an imminent collision is detected. Both features give you that much-needed assist—When you brake, they brake harder.

If you’ve ever driven down a steep and or bumpy road, you really don’t want to feel like your vehicle is out of control. A fast break is a beautiful thing to watch, but not when you’re behind the wheel and it’s not your intention. If you see a steep decline ahead, simply activate the hill descent assist and it will keep your vehicle rolling down the hill at a constant safe speed. This allows you to focus on the road.

A player driving the lane for an easy score doesn’t want to veer away from the basket. A driver drifting or heading out of their lane can have catastrophic consequences. Lane keeping assist will gently steer you back into your lane. Additionally, lane keeping assist may warn you with a vibration, beep or buzz that your car is off track This feature is overridden with a turn signal or when you turn the wheel. Keep in mind, it is less effective when lane markings are faded or hard to see.

This can be the city dweller’s best friend. Like the name implies, this feature does the parallel parking for you. Who doesn’t love someone else taking care of perfectly pulling into that tight spot? You simply need to find a suitable parking space or in many instances, this feature will alert you when a spot has been located and then it does the rest. With this feature, parallel parking is a slam dunk! While features vary, it’s important to remember that you control the braking. Check out your specific manufacturer’s instructions, but in many instances you can override this feature by taking over the steering or completely stopping the maneuver by braking. As always, you still need to be mindful of any potential hazards.

Regardless of which of these features you favor, they’re all winners and can make driving safer & easier. Remember, on or off the court, you are still your car’s best safety feature.

What are your final four favs?
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