The advent of modern-day technologies in our vehicles have undoubtedly brought us countless convenience in many aspects of our lives. With the rapidly evolving safety technological features built in cars or as packages to pay more for, it is observed that drivers willingly chase for more of these technologies as the driving experiences transform.
However, our growing over-reliance on such technologies, be it an essential or merely an icing on the safety cake, may end up as a handicap for us.
Airbags have been around since the 1970s and were produced as dual front airbags for the driver and front passenger. Today, airbags have been improved and increased, fitting up to 6 airbags, for enhanced safety – two front airbags and side ones for front passengers, along with curtain airbags that extend to the rear seats.
A car with more than 6 airbags does not necessarily indicate that it is safer. As much as airbags lessen the impact of car crashes, drivers and passengers should always belt up.
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
Commonly known as the emergency auto-brake, the system utilises forward-facing sensors to measure the distance between one’s car and the traffic in front. Should the vehicle in front suddenly stop and the system detects that the driver has not braked adequately, AEB would be activated to avoid a possible collision.
Though it is the responsibility of every driver to be alert and monitor the traffic, the AEB acts as a fallback given a case of lagged response time, such as turning one’s head to check the lane beside but not noticing the danger in front.
Some AEB systems can even detect slow moving pedestrians, cyclists or animals. As AEBs do not operate all the same, it is vital for users to ensure a clear understanding of its function.
Blind Spot Sensors
Acting as additional eyes on the roads, blind spot sensors help drivers detect any traffic that may be lurking in their blind spots – which are usually on the rear and sides.
The blind spot warning system often includes flashing signals and sounds to alert the driver that a vehicle or object is near their car.
Lane Departure Warning
Similarly, the lane departure warning system ensures that drivers remain alert and not accidentally drift out of their own lane. Such a technology in some vehicle utilises vibration on the steering wheel or brakes applied to individual wheels in order to keep the car in the lane.
The reverse camera, along with the parking assistance feature, has indeed become our best friend when it comes to parking our cars. Almost universal on most modern cars, the reverse camera is handy in informing the driver of the area behind them, before or while they are reversing.
The Bottom Line: A Driver’s Responsibility
Despite the technologies available in the car that enhances safety on the road for both the driver and others, our reliance on them could prove detrimental. The safety features serve as assistance to the driver than taking over the driver.
Given a fault in the technology that supposedly enhances safety, the blame of any dire consequence may not certainly be placed on the system.
The technology used in the automotive world remains complex, which also explains the lack of a fully-autonomous vehicle at the current juncture. Akin to the present self-driving vehicles available, they serve as features similar to the safety technologies, which require drivers to still be aware and monitor their surroundings.
With all the technologies built in our vehicles that we place our trust in and relate to as a norm, can we survive driving safely without them?