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Car safety-features
Old 05-16-2018, 05:59 PM   #1
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Car safety-features

I have a car thatís nine years old. My significant otherís car is 10 years old. Both cars are low-mileage. We like our cars. However, these two cars donít have much in the way of safety features such as the: blind-spot monitor; rear cross-traffic monitor; lane-departure warning; etc. Her car doesnít even have a back-up camera (my car does, but itís kind of worthless). Luckily, we can afford to buy new cars, but probably would not buy them at the same time. We wouldn't even consider getting new cars, except for the enhanced safety features that the new cars have.

What safety features seem to be particularly important in these new-fangled cars anyway?
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:04 PM   #2
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:04 PM   #3
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We bought a 2017 Volvo. The nice to haves? Heated steering wheel, heated front/rear seats, Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning. It gives the wheel a little jiggle if you are on the line too long. The adaptive cruise control will take the car to a stop in heavy traffic, then start up again. Active Bending headlights. Mrs Scrapr has a hard time at night. Cross traffic alert when backing (camera). City safe. Bicyclists and peds. The car will stop if cyclists or peds are detected and the car is moving. The newer models have large animal recognition. I think it's supposed to slow and steer around the deer. It also will alert & slow/stop if you are coming up on a car/object too fast

And the usual occupant safety doo dads

I'm sure I missed some
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:06 PM   #4
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I just got a new Honda Pilot and I would say that the important new safety features are the backup camera, collision warning, and automatic braking in a crash situation. I already had someone step off the curb about 40 feet in front of me and the collision warning went off (they were not in the lane but were headed there).

Blind spot, lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control are nice to have. Note that lane-keeping is not just a warning, it will steer you back into the lane.

https://automobiles.honda.com/safety
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:30 PM   #5
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Back-up camera, collision warning, automatic breaking, cross traffic alert, blind spot monitor, lane-keeping: if a car doesn't come with all of these, would it be a deal breaker? Or are there cars that have them all? Which safety feature (s) would you be willing to give up? We probably do need the active bending headlights.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:38 PM   #6
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I just went through this and for me, it is the rear camera and the blind spot indicator. Along with the rear camera, are sensors that let you know with a tone whether something is coming from the side (like when you pull out of a parking spot) that you can't see.

Of those mentioned above, the only one I would like is the bending headlights. Good vision is critical and it's tougher each year to drive at night.

Personally, I had active cruse control and crash avoidance and I do not like them. I am not in the camp of people who accept giving that kind of control away when driving. Lane departure is just plain irritating. I have it on my current car, but I shut it off.

So I guess in summary - Things that help you see (thumbs up) - Things that control the driving (thumbs down). YMMV
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:52 PM   #7
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Personally, I had active cruse control and crash avoidance and I do not like them. I am not in the camp of people who accept giving that kind of control away when driving. Lane departure is just plain irritating. I have it on my current car, but I shut it off.

So I guess in summary - Things that help you see (thumbs up) - Things that control the driving (thumbs down). YMMV
I love the Adaptive CC. I use it all the time. I hate the Lane Departure in Mrs Scraprs Rav 4. The Volvo is much less obtrusive. Gently shaking the wheel and guiding you back.

I forgot the newest Volvos have a autonomous lite. It's not perfect but a lot of owners like it. You do have to pay attention. Drivers report being more rested
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:04 PM   #8
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The rear camera for backing up just now became mandatory for all new vehicles sold in the U.S. That's great as they prevent backing into things, other cars and people.

My new car also has the lane change warning and you can feel it in the steering wheel. I keep.it cut off unless driving late nights long distance by myself.

I do like the automatic braking system for city traffic. It will prevent at least one small accident in the life of most cars.

I wish the adaptive cruise control could be bypassed for old style cruise control. If there is very car in front of you driving slower than your cruise control is set for, it equalizes (slows) your speed with them. Pull out in the other lane and it floors the accelerator. It can be a pretty exciting ride if you're driving a powerful car.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:13 PM   #9
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I wish the adaptive cruise control could be bypassed for old style cruise control. If there is very car in front of you driving slower than your cruise control is set for, it equalizes (slows) your speed with them. Pull out in the other lane and it floors the accelerator. It can be a pretty exciting ride if you're driving a powerful car.
On Honda at least, old-school cruise is set by holding down the ACC range selector button.
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Car safety-features
Old 05-16-2018, 08:16 PM   #10
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Car safety-features

Hey, I was thrilled when we bought a 2 year old 2003 Camry and it had electric windows and an electric driver seat! I was always too cheap to buy an upgraded model when we used to buy new. Now we buy low mileage used and you donít always find them with the extras.

Last August I bought a 2014 Corolla S. Itís the sporty model and it has a few upgrades. To me thatís what is making this car so much fun. I never had Bluetooth before and I have a backup camera. It doesnít have any of the newer safety features but I can see where those would be worth the expense.

My sister and BIL both have new cars with the automatic braking, lane departure warnings, blind spot detection and plenty of other features.

As I get older I see where the new features are very important.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:36 PM   #11
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Air bags: Seat (side), B Pillar, A Pillar, side curtain, front.

Front clip crumple zones that achieve a vehicle high safety rating in the event of a head on.

All else is for accident avoidance and driver alertness.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:51 PM   #12
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I would not buy a car without a backup camera and adaptive cruise control. I currently have blind spot warning and do use it. It is probably a bit less necessary but very, very nice to have. I don't have lane departure warning but would get it if available.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:31 PM   #13
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I will say that the viewing angle of the backup camera is important....

Our older Pilot (15) has a very wide angle... my DW pointed out that when backing up you can use it to see if cars are coming from the blind spot a bit easier.... my Genesis sees downward from the bumper.... when backing out the driveway I cannot even see a car parked across the street.... very irritating...


Genesis has adaptive CC and I do like it... it has lane departure warning but it is useless.... you have to turn it on every time you drive and it only works driving over 45 mph... I have used it a few times but gave up on it...

The emergency rear collision warning is just horrible... it does not brake and I only found out I had it when I had to slam on my brakes from someone doing the same in front of me.... if I had relied on the warning to start braking I would have hit that car pretty hard...

I will admit that it is a '13 so not up to the newest tech...
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:04 AM   #14
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Hopefully we all have these useful safety features already. Seat belts, Airbags, antilock brakes (ABS), traction control, electronic stability control (ESC).

Backup cameras can vary. On our Toyotaís they were a nice addition, though we always look with our own eyes too. To my surprise, the Subaru backup camera lens gets dirty easily, I have to wipe it clean sometimes. Not so with Toyotas weíve owned. Inferior aero vs Toyota? Model specific probably.

The OP was more likely asking about the driver assist features below. The systems vary by carmaker, using different technology, some are significantly better than others, and of course they all use different acronyms. None are perfect, many wonít work on ice and snow or even in a downpour (rain) or if lane markings arenít good.

There wonít be a consensus anyway, but my take...

My favorites:
ē Blind-spot warning (BSW):*Visual and/or audible notification of vehicle in blind spot. The system may provide an additional warning if you use your turn signal when there is a car next to you in another lane. I like blind spot warning because it tells me when someone is in my blind spot without me straining to look. Itís a light on the right and left mirrors that glow yellow if someone is there. Whatís the downside?
ē Rear cross-traffic warning:*Visual, audible, or haptic notification of object or vehicle out of rear camera range, but could be moving into it. I like rear cross traffic warning because there are times when youíre backing out and simply canít see because the monster SUV/pickup vehicle next to you is blocking your view. Instead of creeping out and hoping no one has to swerve to miss you while you strain to see if anyone is coming, the warning tells you to wait. Whatís the downside?

Honorable mentions?:
ē Rear automatic emergency braking (Rear AEB):*Brakes are automatically applied to prevent backing into something behind the vehicle. This could be triggered by the rear cross-traffic system, or other sensors on the vehicle. Rear emergency braking is nice, but the warnings above will most likely prompt you to stop before the car brakes. The only time rear emergency braking is useful to me is when there is a low post or wall you canít see at all, then itís handy.
ē Adaptive cruise control: *Adaptive cruise uses lasers, radar, cameras, or a combination of these systems to keep a constant distance between you and the car ahead, automatically maintaining a safe following distance. If highway traffic slows, some systems will bring the car to a complete stop and automatically come back to speed when traffic gets going again, allowing the driver to do little more than pay attention and steer. Adaptive cruise control is a mixed bag to me. Sure itís nice that it automatically slows to match the car ahead. But if you want to go 60 mph and youíre approaching a car doing 50 mph, do you want to go 50 mph from then on? With adaptive cruise control, you learn to change lanes well before the cars system ďseesĒ the slow moving car ahead. You could do that yourself with the old non-adaptive cruise control.

50/50:
ē Lane-departure warning (LDW):*Visual, audible, or haptic warning to alert the driver when they are crossing lane markings. Some people find this helpful while others find it annoying, and itís unreliable anyway. If you tend to wander (why?) itíll warn you so you can correct. But if youíre changing lanes with no one anywhere nearby - itíll beep and flash every time you cross a lane marking unless you have your turn signal on every time. So you have to signal every time, accept warnings when theyíre not needed, or disable LDW. And these systems rely on painted lane markings, if theyíre faint or missing, LDW wonít work. Where I live lane markers are kinda hit and miss off highways.
ē Forward-collision warning (FCW):*Visual and/or audible warning intended alert the driver and prevent a collision. Not a bad thing, but not perfect either. A system that warns you soon enough to act will sometimes beep and flash unnecessarily, mine does if a car slows to turn ahead of me and I get close for an instant just before the car ahead clears. If the system was less sensitive, it would be too late in a real emergency. Catch-22? See next feature.
ē Steering responsive headlights. My car has them, the difference is negligible to me. I don't even notice the beam moving unless I consciously look for it.

My second least favorite:
ē Automatic emergency braking (AEB):*Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce collision speed. If the FCW warning above didnít prompt you to brake yourself, why are you so distracted? These systems arenít magic, they wonít prevent a collision if thereís no warning at all, e.g. if youíre going 60 mph and a car unexpectedly crosses in front of you, AEB might brake a little sooner than you would, but it wonít prevent a collision. Depends on the car/system but some will only prevent a collision at low speed like 35 mph and below while others may work up to 60-70 mph. Do your homework, these systems arenít all equal between carmakers.

My least favorite:
ē Lane-keeping assist (LKA):*Automatic corrective steering input or braking provided by the vehicle when crossing lane markings. Lane departure warning should prompt you to correct yourself before the car has to. Lane keeping will only correct a couple of times before a stern warning and/or shutting off because youíre clearly not paying attention. And again, these systems rely on painted lane markings, if theyíre faint or missing, LDW and LKA wonít work. Snow, ice and heavy rain are also trouble for LDW and LKA.

Other:
ē Lane-centering assist: *Continuous active steering to stay in between lanes (active steer, autosteer, etc.). I havenít experienced this, itís a precursor to self-driving cars. Available on Tesla and some new Cadillacs and Lexus that I know of.

I just bought a new car with everything above except lane centering assist. And I like the driver assist features for the most part, you learn when and how to use them. Some are helpful at all times, some are selectively useful. OTOH, the dealer told me lots of buyers come back within two weeks of taking delivery of their new car and ask Ďhow do I turn off all these *#&$ safety doo dads?í FWIW.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:24 AM   #15
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You get parked next to a big SUV and you can't see anything backing out of a parking spot even if you're flexible enough to twist your body around (I'm not).

Rear AEB and Rear Cross Traffic Warning has saved my butt a few times. Plus the back up camera lets you see what's coming even when your eyes can't as it's 10 feet further out into the parking lot than you are.

My ONE aggravating feature? Auto shut off where if you're sitting at a light the car turns itself off to save gas. That's fine at a light but if you're in stop and go it drives you nuts! Good thing there's an override shut off. (If I can afford a $70K car, I really don't care about saving a half gallon of gas, thank you)
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:27 AM   #16
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Backup cameras are very nice, but there's an improvement available that's even better. Some cars have enough cameras placed around the car that the computer can stitch all the images together and generate an "overhead view". It really looks like there's a drone overhead with a camera looking down on your car. Very nice.

Someone mentioned backup cameras that get dirty. VW has a nice fix for this - the backup camera is covered by the logo on the back of the car. This flips open when you're in reverse letting the camera see while you need it. When not in reverse, it flips back down covering the camera and keeping it clean.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:30 AM   #17
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My ONE aggravating feature? Auto shut off where if you're sitting at a light the car turns itself off to save gas. That's fine at a light but if you're in stop and go it drives you nuts! Good thing there's an override shut off. (If I can afford a $70K car, I really don't care about saving a half gallon of gas, thank you)
These vary a lot. I've driven rentals were the startup was really rough and unpleasant.

On the other other hand some of these systems have gotten really good. On my diesel (go figure) is very smooth when it starts up. I mostly don't even notice it.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:46 AM   #18
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My ONE aggravating feature? Auto shut off where if you're sitting at a light the car turns itself off to save gas. That's fine at a light but if you're in stop and go it drives you nuts! Good thing there's an override shut off. (If I can afford a $70K car, I really don't care about saving a half gallon of gas, thank you)
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These vary a lot. I've driven rentals were the startup was really rough and unpleasant.

On the other other hand some of these systems have gotten really good. On my diesel (go figure) is very smooth when it starts up. I mostly don't even notice it.
I wonder what make/model car Marko is talking about? Engine on/off on our 07 Camry Hybrid and 12 Prius were virtually seamless too.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:50 AM   #19
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took DW to look at new foresters and she hated all the "safety" stuff - eyesight, etc
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:48 AM   #20
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I wonder what make/model car Marko is talking about? Engine on/off on our 07 Camry Hybrid and 12 Prius were virtually seamless too.

+!

Occasionally I notice the engine starting up, but usually I am blissfully unaware of it.

If I were to sell my 2012 it would be to get the improved safety features on modern cars. But, so far my driving is still good, and I seem to have avoided any nick-name starting with the words Crash Helmet.
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