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Your Car Safety Features Can Reduce The Risk of Auto Accidents

Experts In This Article

Car safety features are improving everyday and can help you prevent a car accident, but they won’t prevent all car accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, it is important that you contact an experienced Orlando Car Accident Lawyer, immediately. The insurance company will not automatically pay you the settlement you deserve. At the law office of Michael T. Gibson, our dedicated team of attorneys will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. following your car accident.

Call us right now at 407-422-4529 or use the form found on this page for your free car accident consultation. We serve all of Central Florida, if you cant’t make it to our office we will come to you, making it easy for you to focus on recovering from your car accident.

Car Safety Features Q & A

What car safety features can help save my life?

  • Adaptive Cruise Control: This technology uses forward-looking sensors, including radar cameras to monitor distance between your vehicle and others on the road. The system will automatically slow down your vehicle in traffic to maintain a safe following distance without the driver having to do anything.
  • Forward Collision Avoidance System: Using forward-looking sensors, this technology alerts drivers with visual or auditory warning signals when the vehicle is getting too close to another.
  • Autonomous Braking: Some systems are able to break automatically for the driver, if a warning signal is missed. This can prevent a crash or at least lessen the impact. Experts agree- systems that combine forward-collision warning and auto-brake are the most effective.
  • Adaptive Headlights: This technology allows drivers greater visibility when going around a curve. According to Highway Loss Data Institute research, property damage liability claims fell 10 percent with adaptive headlights.
  • Backup Camera: Once a feature found in only luxury vehicles, the backup camera displayed in the rearview mirrors or in-dash display is now popular in midrange vehicles, giving drivers added visibility when backing out of a parking spot or driveway.
  • Reverse Backup Sensors: This can be used with or without a camera and alerts drivers with a beep if they are about to hit something while backing up.
  • Sideview Assist: This sensor technology can detect a car in your blind spot and alert you with a light in your side mirror or a beep if you attempt to engage your turn signal.
  • Parking Assist: An increasing number of vehicles offer a feature that detects the size of a parallel parking space- and will even guide drivers into the start position. This allows you to completely take your hands off the wheel while the computer technology backs your vehicle into place.

What are some car safety features that can decrease your auto insurance premiums?

  • Anti-theft Tools and Devices: Whether these have been installed or come standard with your vehicle, alarms and navigation systems can make you eligible for insurance discounts, some even as high as 10-25 percent off your total premium. Any technology that makes your car less likely to be targeted for theft makes you less risky to be insured.
  • Airbags and Seatbelts: Some insurance companies will lower your car insurance rates if you have newer automated seatbelts, while others will offer discounts for passenger side and side impact airbags. Updating these features can qualify you for better discounts and increase the safety of your vehicle.
  • Electronic Stability Control/Traction Control: Most new vehicles are equipped with this safety feature. Insurance companies offer savings for drivers whose cars feature technology that utilizes sensors, microprocessors, and specific controls in the car to prevent skidding and spinning out of control.
  • Collision Monitoring and Blind Spot Alerts: These car safety devices reduce the chance of accidents, and of insurance claims resulting from collisions. Many new vehicles come standard with these accident-avoidance systems. If you are considering having these safety features installed, you should check with your car insurance provider and make sure they offer this discount.
  • Telematic Devices: These devices monitor how much you drive and in doing so can save you money. If these devices prove that you are a safe or low-mileage driver, you should be eligible for additional discounts offered by your insurance company. Besides measuring the amount of miles you drive, they also track things like sudden breaking and rapid acceleration. Reducing these driving habits makes a person a safer driver, and can entitle them to savings with most car insurance providers. Some insurance companies even offer these devices and encourage parents to use them as a way of monitoring driving habits of their teen drivers.

What car safety features can I utilize to avoid a car accident in the rain?

  • Headlights: Turn on your headlights while driving in the rain- day or night. It’s the law in the State of Florida. This will aid in visibility and allow other drivers to see you better, decreasing
  • Defroster: Use this feature to defog your windows. Make sure your air conditioning is turned on, along with the front and rear defrosters.
  • Tire Tread: Examine the tread on your tires. Worn tread decreases the traction and increases the likelihood of losing control of your vehicle- particularly in rainy weather conditions.
  • Cruise Control: NEVER use cruise control on wet pavement. This feature may interpret loss of traction as reducing speed and increase acceleration to compensate, which could cause your vehicle to veer dangerously.
  • Windshield Wipers and Water Repellent Products: This is an obvious one- but turn on your windshield wipers in the rain. It is also a good idea to use rain repellent products on windows, which can help clear water from your vehicle’s windows.

What are some safe driving tips to help avoid hydroplaning?

  • Reduce your speed, especially around curves
  • Steer and brake lightly; sudden corrections can cause you to lose traction and control of your vehicle.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated and make sure your tires have proper tread.
  • If you do begin to hydroplane, stay calm. Ease off the gas and do not slam on the brakes or jerk the steering wheel.

What car technological advances help prevent older driver car accidents?

Here are some of the latest technologies we have seen that we recommend to help older drivers stay more aware of risks on the roadways and prevent auto accidents in Florida.

  • Smarter headlights– Night driving is one of the biggest challenges elderly people face. By using smarter headlights, the direction and intensity of the light can change depending on the weather or time of day. This helps reduce glare, making it easier to see while driving.
  • Blind spot warnings– These warnings are signals that there is a car or object in your blind spot. According to a study from AARP, having trouble seeing a blind spot accounts for 24% of elderly car accident causes. Having an automated warning system can help.
  • Drowsy driver alerts– Driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. New technology can alert a driver when they are too tired to be behind the wheel and should pull to the side.

What Makes Seatbelts Safe?

By just taking a quick glance at a safety belt, you might not think there is very much to it, but that’s not true. A lot of research and development have gone into the engineering of seatbelts to maximize passenger safety. You might not be able to see some of the safety features that have been integrated into the design of your vehicle’s seatbelts, but if you’re ever involved in an accident, you’ll be glad they’re there. Some of these features include:

  • An adjustable upper belt that lets you change the position of the shoulder strap to better fit your specific body size. People are more likely to wear an adjustable belt because the adjustments can make the belt much more comfortable.
  • A seatbelt pretensioner that retracts the belt and removes excess slack very quickly in the event of a sudden stop or an accident. It is important that you still adjust the seatbelt to fit as snugly as possible.
  • Energy management, a feature that allows the seatbelt to “give” during a severe car wreck to prevent the shoulder belt from hurting your chest.

What are Some Child Safety Seat Tips? 

As Florida personal injury attorneys, we’ve seen devastating results of Orlando car accidents that could have been prevented if the children involved had been buckled up properly. While many parents always buckle up their children correctly for each and every car ride, there are some parents and other adults who are uncertain of the exact recommendations and may not have the seatbelts connected or used in the best way possible to prevent injury.

To help, here are a few safety tips to follow for children when buckling up:

  • Use a booster seat. Booster seats are recommended for children until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. A booster seat puts children at the right height so the safety belt can work properly. The shoulder strap should cross over the child’s chest and the lap belt should fit snugly across the child’s upper thighs.
  • Do not put the shoulder strap behind the child’s back. Many children prefer to sit with the shoulder strap behind their back because it is more comfortable. However, doing this can lead to more severe injuries during a car accident. For the seatbelt to work properly, it’s important to wear it the way the manufacturer designed it to be worn.
  • Keep all children under the age of 13 in the back seat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children younger than 13 ride in the back seat. This is to avoid potential injuries caused by the deployment of an airbag if an accident should occur.

The Positive Effects of Safety Systems

Seatbelt Indicator

Criticism to this safety equipment was overwhelming causing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to eliminate the idea. In addition, Congress passed a bill that banned the NHTSA from requiring the safety equipment.

Recent studies show that attitudes have shifted over the past few decades. A recent survey from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, reveals attitudes toward seatbelts. Here are some of the results:

  • Nearly 91% of surveyed drivers say they always wear their seatbelts.
  • Less than 1% said that they did not wear their seatbelts while driving.
  • Almost 50% of drivers said that they are more likely to buckle up when there is an audible reminder telling them that their seatbelt is not fastened.

These new attitudes toward seatbelts can help prevent injuries in an Orlando accident. As an Orlando personal injury law firm, we see first hand the benefit to wearing seatbelts.

Here are 3 good reasons why that force of habit of buckling your seatbelt is within your best interest:

  1. Protect yourself from ejection– Being thrown from a car during a Florida car crash increases your risk of being permanently injured or even killed. When you wear your seat belt, you are held into place limiting the impact your body endures and keeping you from being ejected from the car.
  2. Air bags and seat belts complement each other– Some people have the false idea that if a car has air bags, they will be kept safe from ejection or from flying too far forward. However, air bags are designed to work in conjunction with a seat belt. In order to be as safe as possible during a car accident in Florida, you must have both pieces of safety equipment in place.
  3. Properly fitted safety belts can keep people of all shapes and sizes safe– Some people believe that wearing a seat belt can do more harm than good in the event of a crash. For example, pregnant women often times avoid wearing a seat belt for fear that the belt will crush their stomach in a crash. But when worn correctly, the seat belt provides top protection against injury.

Electronic Stability Control

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released the results of a study they conducted to test the efficacy of a new piece of automobile safety technology. This study followed vehicles that had an innovative technology called electronic stability control (ESC) technology. During the study the NHTSA found that the chance for Florida car crashes— and car accidents nationwide—decreased, saving thousands of lives from rollover accidents. In fact, according to a report, as many as 2,200 lives have been saved over the course of three years as a result of this technology.

The ESC technology was tested in a limited number of vehicles. It works by helping the driver control the stability of the vehicle as they start to lose control directionally. According to the NHTSA analysis, each year an increasing number of lives was saved:

  • 2008 – 634 lives saved
  • 2009 – 705 lives saved
  • 2010 – 863 lives saved

All passenger cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans manufactured after September 1, 2011, are required to have the new ESC system installed. It is anticipated that by having the ESC technology in place, some of the deadliest Florida car accidents, such as vehicle rollovers and running off the roadway, will be prevented. For people looking to purchase a used vehicle, it is highly recommended that consumers look for this technology in any vehicle ranging from 2005 – 2010.

Crash Avoidance Technology

Crash avoidance technology encompasses quite a bit of Florida car collision avoidance features, such as improved headlights and forward collision warnings. One of the features that is still being perfected is the car’s ability to tell a driver when the system thinks he should pull over for a quick nap before continuing on his journey. For this service specifically, here are a few features to be on the lookout for when selecting your Florida car crash avoidance system.

  • Automatic System—You should not have to remember to turn this feature on. Chances are, when you need it the most is the time you will forget to use it, so having an automatic system that does not require any input from you is essential.
  • Auto-Brake Feature—Some crash avoidance features—not all—come with an auto-brake feature. This helps you to automatically brake to help prevent a Florida car crash, as opposed to relying on your own reaction time, which can sometimes be compromised or delayed.
  • Gentle Warning Noise—While your system should wake you up, being surprised by an alarming sound can have adverse effects, such as causing you to brake too hard or swerve. The system should have a gentle warning noise to alert you that you need to pull over.

Safety Features Help Prevent Car Accidents, but They Still Happen

Even with the latest technology and crash-avoidance features, some car accidents are unavoidable. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, it is important that you contact an experienced Orlando car accident attorney, immediately. The insurance company will not automatically pay you the settlement you deserve. At the law office of Michael T. Gibson, our dedicated team of attorneys will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. following your car accident.

Michael T. Gibson P.A.
2420 S. Lakemont Avenue, Suite 150
Orlando, FL 32814
Phone: 407-422-4529

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