Cars have definitely come a long way in terms of safety, and cars of the present day offer a large number of passenger safety features, which make cars much safer than cars of the past. There’s an increasing awareness about safety among people, which has forced many manufacturers to make the safety features standard. Not all safety features may be of equal importance but they have a place of their own and perform a certain function. We have made a list of five such safety features that you probably don’t know about.
A brake shift interlock feature in present in most automatic cars. It prevents inadvertent change of driving mode and accidental rollaway. This feature would not let you put the car in drive or neutral unless you press the brake pedal. In case you are not sure whether your car has this feature, check the owner’s manual.
Anti-pinch power windows
A power window can be closed or opened by pulling / pushing a button. The express function lets the driver control the window with minimum effort, as he does need to keep the button pressed until it’s completely shut. However in case the window is closing and there’s an obstruction, it can cause bodily harm or can shatter the window. The anti-pinch device is essentially a pressure sensor in the window motor that reverses the direction and rolls down in case it detects an obstruction and thereby preventing damage.
In a crash, a car’s structure is supposed to absorb maximum energy. The front of the car is designed such that it absorbs maximum energy through controlled deformation through crumpling. While it may appear that car with a long bonnet is safer and would absorb more energy, it’s not necessarily true. A lot also depends on the material used and the design. So, only a crash test can reveal if the crumple zone has an ability to absorb the energy and prevent injury to the passengers.
Safety cage and reinforcements
While crumple zone is expected to deform, a safety cage (which is generally made of a material, considerably stronger than that of the crumple zone) is expected to resist deformation. Reinforcements are also present on the sides and inside the doors (in the form of beams) that resist deformation and prevent injury to the passengers in case of a side collision.
Most crash tests are done to check the structural integrity and safety of the car under its own weight, along with passengers of standardised weight. Also, tests are conducted at an average speed. Therefore, the force with which the cars crash is limited by its own weight, speed etc. Such tests do not give a correct picture about the safety or about a crash scenario in which the car might collide with a heavier car at a greater speed. Since it’s a statistical approach in some sense, it does not give information about how a car would perform in an extreme scenario. So, in general sense, a heavier car would be safer than a car that weighs less and weight does add to the safety net.