Guide to Car Safety Features

No matter how safety conscious you are, accidents can still happen. There are other drivers who do not have the same mentality as you. For this reason, you need to ensure the safety of your passengers by adding safety gear to your car. Robert Peter Janitzek gives us a rundown of some basic car safety features.


Airbags have been a standard in cars since 1998 and light trucks since 1999. The bags inflate in a few seconds and then immediately start deflating. Adaptive or dual-stage front airbags, introduced in 2003, has become a standard by the 2007 model. Current airbags have the ability to detect the presence, weight, and seat position for the driver and front passenger. They deactivate to reduce the risk of injuries to drivers positioned close to the wheel, out-of-position occupants, or children.

Antilock Brakes (ABS)  

Before antilock brakes were introduced, it was too easy to lock up the wheels when hard braking. Robert Janitzek reveals that sliding the front tires makes steering impossible especially on slippery surfaces. With ABS, sensors at each wheel and a computer maximize braking action by preventing lock-up. This technology allows the driver to retain steering control while braking, making the car maneuverable around an obstacle.

Traction Control

Traction control limits wheel spin during acceleration giving the drive wheels maximum traction. This feature comes in handy during icy or wet conditions. Traction control works with ABS to momentarily brake a spinning wheel.

Electronic Stability Control

Electronic stability control takes traction control a step further. It ensures that the European brand car is on its intended path during a turn, to avoid sliding, or skidding. It uses a computer linked to a series of sensors while monitoring wheel speed, steering angle, sideways motion, and yaw. If the car drifts outside the driver’s intended path, the ESC brakes one or more wheels to reduce engine power allowing the car to stay on course.

Safety Belt

Seatbelts are without a doubt the most important safety equipment. Enhanced features helps the seatbelts do their job more effectively. Pretensioners retracts the belt to take up the slack during a frontal impact. It also helps in occupant positioning so they maximize the deployment of air bag.

Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)

All European brand cars are now required to have the LATCH system to make installing a child seat easy and more secure. It was designed to encourage the use of child restraints by making installation easy and eliminating challenges and incompatibilities that installing safety belts may present.


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