Hot New Car Features for 2019 Could Make Driving Safer – or Add to Distractions

New safety features in cars

It used to be that the newest technologies would only be available on the most high-end vehicles. These days, however, cutting-edge technology like navigation systems, driving assistance, and comprehensive entertainment systems can be found on even the most basic models.

Though some of these features can make driving a safer experience, others provide significant distraction potential.

New Car Features That Could Make Driving Safer

Some of the new technologies that could make driving safer include:

  • Advanced automatic steering – This technology helps cars maneuver themselves to avoid hitting other cars, pedestrians, animals, and more.
  • Autonomous driving technology – Various technologies like blind spot monitoring, auto-braking, and lane-monitoring have the potential to make cars safer, although at this point the technology is not advanced enough that you can actually take your hands off the wheel without remaining alert.
  • Accident hearing/sound protection – This feature is meant to protect your ears in the event of a collision, which can be extremely loud. When the car detects an impending crash, it begins playing a “pink noise” tone which causes your ears to dampen sounds reflexively.
  • Off-road terrain assistance – Crawl control puts your car in slow cruise control and lets you focus on steering, while turn assist helps you make tight turns to navigate switchbacks and obstacles.
  • Emergency stop assistance – If a vehicle senses that the driver has become unresponsive, it can take over by slowing to a stop, turning on the hazard lights, and contacting emergency services. This can help avoid crashes and get prompt medical attention for drivers who may have heart attacks or seizures out on the road, for example.

Many of these features can be found in high-end vehicles like Tesla, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz, but even more affordable car brands are starting to introduce these technologies.

Tech in New Cars That Could Add Distractions

Some of the new technologies that may contribute to distracted driving include:

  • Interior camera and mic system – This feature plays a live feed of the backseats of the car on the infotainment screen on the dashboard, and adds microphones between the front and the back. Intended to help drivers keep an eye on what their kids, dogs, or cargo is doing in the back of the car, it seems likely that this feature would distract the driver.
  • WiFi and live TV – Some new cars come equipped with their own WiFi hotspots and can link up with streaming services and live TV. Though the screen is in the rear of the cabin, preventing drivers from watching TV, even listening to live TV could pose as a distraction for drivers and reduce safety, and WiFi in the cabin will further tempt drivers to check notifications on their phone.
  • Comfort options – Between massage chairs, recliners, fragrance dispensers, automated sunshades, seat heaters, and more, cars are becoming more comfortable than ever. But, with so many customization options, it is easy for drivers to get distracted as they try to adjust everything while out on the road.

Considerations When Choosing a Safe New Car

When it comes to choosing a new car, consider your driving habits and your family’s needs. If you compulsively check every notification you receive, forego cars that display texts on your infotainment screen or come equipped with WiFi. If you know you are prone to seizures or drowsiness, a car with emergency stopping systems might be a good option. If your family goes off-roading a lot, investing in a car with off-road terrain assistance could be smart. If not, there might be a better model for you.

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At Sansone & Lauber Personal Injury Attorneys, our knowledgeable trial lawyers are committed to helping those who have been hurt in car accidents in St. Louis and across Missouri. We provide quality legal representation on a contingency fee basis, which means if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything.

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