Advanced Safety Features Are Becoming Available On Affordable Cars

The Tampa Bay Online newspaper published an interesting article recently, which discussed the advanced safety features that are now added to affordable cars. In the past, it took years for the less expensive vehicles to catch up with the Merecdes and BMWs of the world when it came to features like the air bag.

According to the article, vehicles like the Ford Fusion and Mazda 6 are including numerous safety features that are preventing car accidents. Below are some of the new features available that are no longer costing consumers an arm and a leg:

Traction/Stability Control

Traction control detects if a wheel slips, and then automatically compensates by giving more power to other wheels, helping the car avoid spinning out of control. Electronic Stability Control takes this a step further, and analyzes the shape and weight of the car, and even the terrain or road incline, to control all four brakes better and prevent a spinout or rollover.

ESC can cut the risk of a fatal single-vehicle crash by 49 percent, and cut the risk of a rollover in an SUV by 75 percent, according to research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Blind Spot Cameras

Wide-angle cameras around the car link to a dashboard display, and show you everything that’s happening around the car. Backup cameras in the rear help avoid the nightmare scenario of hitting a child you didn’t know was in the driveway behind you.

Child Control Features

Look for more features to come on the market that try to control teen drivers. Ford’s new MyKey system uses specific keys for each driver, and can limit things like top speed or stereo volume. (It can even block explicit channels on satellite radio.)

For all-electric car versions, the system will adjust projected range based on that driver’s past habits – heavy or light on the accelerator. And for parents, you may want to consider new phone apps or messaging systems that keep closer ties on young drivers.

Slow Vehicle Sensors

Some new model cars have forward-looking sensors that detect when a car ahead has slowed suddenly. The system then mathematically calculates if you can’t avoid the crash without help and sends up a warning.

Ford and Lincoln have systems that will flash red lights on your dashboard and increase sensitivity on the brakes. Volvo’s “City Safety” system will automatically apply the brakes – handy in the scenario when you’re distracted with a spilled cup of coffee or a kid in the back seat.

Sleeping Sensors

“Attention Assist” that detects the minor steering shifts common in drowsy drivers, and bleeps an alarm if the system suspects you’re nodding off.

A number of car makers have started installing “lane drift” sensors in upper-tier cars. Generally, they use forward-looking cameras to track lane markers on the road, and warn the driver if they drift out of their lane, sometimes with a bleep or a small vibration on the steering wheel. Mercedes, Buick, Cadillac, Hyundai, Volvo and others now offer this feature, so look for this soon on lower-priced models.

These are all new features that are now or will soon be available to the middle class and should help prevent car crashes .

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident  or Chicago truck accident , then call Chicago accident attorney , Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at

Is Eating And Driving Dangerous?

I written numerous times about the dangers of texting and the use of hand held phones while driving. There is no doubt that texting and driving is not a good combination and the government has taken appropriate action to ban this practice. There is a new report out that suggests that people should not be eating and driving.  Hagerty Classic Insurance, prepared a study looking at eating and driving and prepared a list of the ten (10) most dangerous foods to eat while driving.

The list:

Coffee: It always finds a way out of the cup.

2. Hot soup: Many people drink it like coffee and run the same risks.

3. Tacos: “A food that can disassemble itself without much help, leaving your car looking like a salad bar,” says Hagerty.

4. Chili: The potential for drips and slops down the front of clothing is significant.

5. Hamburgers: From the grease of the burger to the ketchup and mustard on top, plenty of goop can end up on your hands, clothes and steering wheel.

6. Barbecued food: Similar issue arises for barbecued foods as for hamburgers. The sauce may be great, but it will end up on whatever you touch.

7. Fried chicken: Another food that leaves you with greasy hands, which means constantly wiping them on something, even if it’s your shirt. It also makes the steering wheel greasy.

8. Jelly- or cream-filled doughnuts: Has anyone ever eaten a jelly doughnut without some of the center oozing out? And jelly can be difficult to remove from material.

9. Soft drinks: Not only are they subject to spills, but they also can fizz as you’re drinking them if you make sudden movements. Most of us have childhood memories of soda fizz in the nose; the sensation isn’t any more pleasant now.

10. Chocolate: Like greasy foods, chocolate can coat your fingers as it melts against the warmth of your skin, leaving its mark anywhere you touch. Try to clean it off the steering wheel and you could end up unintentionally swerving.

The study provided the following tips to help you avoid eating and driving:

  • Leave a bit earlier to allow yourself time to stop and eat.


  • If you’re traveling with someone, take turns eating and driving.


Other tips for driving safely:

  • Keep your eyes on the road.


  • Review maps before hitting the road.


  • Do your personal grooming at home.


  • Use the memory dial feature on your cell phone whenever possible.


  • Keep your hands on the wheel.


  • Preset your radio stations.


  • Don’t try to retrieve items that fall to the floor.


  • Avoid smoking, eating and drinking while driving.


  • Avoid taking calls while driving.


  • Teach your children the importance of good behavior in cars.


  • Keep your mind on the ride.


  • Ask a passenger to serve as your “co-pilot.”


  • Avoid stressful/emotional/confrontational conversations either with a passenger or on your cell phone.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

Car Companies Look For Ways To Protect Pregnant Women And Their Unborn Children

The New York Times recently published an article discussing the steps car companies such as The Ford Motor Company are doing to protect pregnant drivers and their unborn children.

States are not required to track fetal deaths when reporting car accident data, but it is estimated that 300 to 1,000 unborn children die in car accidents each year. The car accident fatality rate for unborn children is about four times the rate for infants and children up to age 4. Car safety experts at Virginia Tech University, funded in part by Ford Motor Company, are trying to develop a computerized crash test model to determine how best to protect pregnant women and their unborn children during a auto collision.

Stefan Duma, Virginia Tech’s head of biomechanical engineering, discussed with the Times the different steps that are being taken to protect pregnant drivers. Below is some of her insight on this issue:

“The three-point belt (a shoulder belt and lap belt) is better for everybody. But with pregnant women, one of the problems is misuse and misinformation. A lot of women don’t like the way belts feel, and they move the shoulder strap or the lap belt will ride up and come up in the middle of the abdomen. Seat belts are designed to load on the bony structures. You want the seat belt on your pelvis. If they are seated right the airbag helps. The seat belt and airbag combination is best.”

“The design cycle for cars is about three years. If I wanted to put a new thing in a car right now the best case is three to four years. What is the perfect belt for a pregnant occupant? It’s a a difficult solution, but it’s something we need to work toward. There are some attachments out there, but none of them are recommended by auto manufacturers. The problem is we don’t really have a good tool to evaluate what they do. The first step is to develop a computer model to evaluate them.”

“The biggest thing is to wear your seat belt. Keep the lap belt by your legs and stay as far away from the steering wheel as you can. Some vehicles have a button to adjust the height of the brake and gas pedal so shorter people don’t have to sit so close to the steering wheel. And there are after-market pedal extenders. My wife used those. Pedal extenders allowed us to put her in a position further away from the steering wheel. It’s just three inches, but that’s a lot of distance in an accident.”

To read the complete article, click here.

We will have to wait and see if any technology is installed in new car models that will help protect pregnant women and their unborn children.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident or truck accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation on your case. You can reach attorney Bryant at 312-588-3384.