What safety features should I consider in my next car?

Adaptive cruise control. A laser- or radar-sensing cruise control system that causes a vehicle to automatically slow or stop in order to avoid front-end collisions.

Forward collision avoidance system. Using forward-looking sensors, these pre-crash warning systems alert drivers with visual or auditory cues when the vehicle is getting too close to another vehicle in front.

Autonomous braking. A system that is able to brake automatically to prevent a collision or lessen the impact.

Adaptive headlights. Headlights that turn as the driver turns the steering wheel, for the purpose of improving illumination in the direction of the turn and which allows drivers to see better as they round a curve.

Backup camera. A camera device designed to aid a driver’s control of a vehicle in reverse by showing a visual display of your rear surroundings.

Reverse backup sensors. A sensor device designed to aid a driver’s control of a vehicle in reverse using audible warning tones of your rear surroundings.

Blind Spot Monitoring. An electronic system that warns you when there are other cars or motorcycles in your blind spot.

Parking assist.  An electronic system that employs laser, radar or sonar technology to enable a vehicle to park itself, in some cases without driver input.

Lane Departure Warning. A system of electronic components designed to warn a driver when a vehicle strays out of its lane.

Steering Assist.  A system that supports the driver in an emergency by applying a little extra steering torque during an evasive maneuver,  guiding the vehicle along the best possible line away from a potential collision.

Rear Cross Path Detection. Sensors that detect obstruction in the rear and prevent a potential collision. Usually with a chime or an illuminated warning icon, this feature is helpful when reversing from a parking space when you can’t see if another car is driving perpendicular behind you.

HUD (Heads Up Display). A head-up display or heads-up display—also known as a HUD—is any transparent display that presents data on the windshield without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints. 


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