Safety on the road is not only about being conscious of your surroundings or being a good driver but also about driving a road worthy, feature-fit vehicle that promotes safety for yourself and others.
Resultantly, more and more safety features are making way into the mechanics of motor vehicles manufactured today. Knowing car feature terminology could improve your ability to make better choices in terms of buying a safer car.
Itís easy to get lost in the jargon of car features offered by various car brands, which is why the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has put together some of the most popular terminology used by car dealerships. Not only will you improve your knowledge of vehicle safety features but you might impress your peers when you know what ESP, ABS and SIPS stand for.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
This safety feature shortens the stopping distance and allows steering control during an emergency brake situation. In cars without this feature, steering is limited during braking and collisions are less avoidable.
This feature is ideal for drivers that have a hard time controlling their speed. Cruise control lets a driver set the maximum speed of driving and the car then does not exceed the set limit. It is not only a great safety feature but also lessens the probability of receiving a speeding fine.
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)
This system is designed to manage over steering and apply gentle braking during manoeuvres around corners.
Four Wheel Drive (4WD)
Though this is not exactly a safety feature, it contributes to better vehicle control. Driving powered by all four wheels improves road grip and promotes greater driving control in hazardous road conditions.
Independent Rear Suspension
This feature allows your rear wheels to operate in isolation from one another rather than being axle driven, making handling the car easier.
Side Impact Protection System (SIPS)
This refers to the structure and safety features of a vehicle that are designed to reduce damage from impact to the side of a vehicle and also reduce injury to passengers.
Having a navigation system on board your vehicle ensures you safely navigate your travel route by eliminating the dangers associated with being distracted by having to look for directions on your phone or on a map or looking out for street names while driving.
This nifty feature allows drivers to answer their phones via their vehicle radio system instead of having to physically pick up the phone to speak to someone. Talking on a cell phone is strictly prohibited on the road but with this system you can stay in contact lawfully, when needed.
The AA concurs that while these are simple measures that all drivers can keep in mind when purchasing a vehicle, it can go a long way towards lowering car crashes in general.