- Anti-Lock Brakes
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) were mandated in all cars in 2012 so you should have no problem making sure you have these when you look at new vehicles. But if you’re looking to buy used, be sure to ask about this. Before ABS, you had to pump the brakes to prevent your tires from locking up and losing control of your steering in situations where you had to stop quickly. Now, ABS dynamically adjusts the brake pressure for you at the individual wheel level to prevent locking and drastically reduce stopping distances. This allows you to steer clear of obstacles easily.
- Automated Emergency Braking
To take braking to a next level, there is now Automated Emergency Braking. Through a combination of visual cameras, laser sensing, and local radar, auto braking will take control of the vehicle to bring the car up to a complete stop if an obstacle is detected in front. So if you glance away to look at the dash or change the radio, your vehicle will act like a second set of eyes.
- Adaptive HID Lighting
Our eyes are used to driving in natural daylight and respond better when our headlights mimic that color temperature. Xenon headlights are LEDs that use a fraction of the energy and sense when to turn on to keep your focus on the road consistent and seamless at dusk. Adaptive headlights automatically keep the lights level in an attempt to keep their piercing beams out of oncoming drivers’ eyes, plus they can swivel several degrees and light up additional side beams when cornering. This makes driving at night far safer.
- Electronic Stability Control
This is easily the best addition to cars since ABS as it makes keeping control of the vehicle in dire circumstances more accessible. Stability control blends ABS and traction control with yaw rate (how quickly the vehicle is rotating) and steering-angle sensors. So if your vehicle starts to slide or weave, electronic stability control will apply the brakes as needed to each wheel individually to straighten out the vehicle. Just like ABS, this became mandatory in 2012.
- Blind Spot Monitoring
Using radar or ultrasonic sensors on the back end of the vehicle, blind spot monitoring is perhaps the most accurate and least distracting driver assistance system. When unobstructed, a flashing alert in the mirror or on the door shows you when there’s a vehicle in your blind spot to prevent you from making an ill-timed lane change.
Photos courtesy of Buick.com