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Choosing The Safest New Family Car: 3 Safety Features To Look Out For

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Advances in car safety technology have come a long way in recent years. If you are looking for a new car this year, you have the opportunity to purchase a vehicle that is fully equipped with safety features that will protect your family in a crash. In 2014, the national road toll was at its lowest since 1945, and by purchasing the safest car, you can help to keep this trend moving lower.


Gone are the days when just the driver was protected by an airbag in the event of an accident. New vehicle models now come with up to six sets of airbags to protect the passengers in the car. These are located:

  • in front of the driver
  • in front of the front-seat passenger
  • on the side of the driver
  • on the side of the front-seat passenger
  • on each side of the back-seat passengers

These additional airbags provide the best in protection in either a head-on or side collision situation. Consider this: 22% of accidents that result in serious injury or death occur due to side impact incidents at intersections. A car that has all six airbags will help to reduce your odds of contributing to this statistic.

Collision Prevention Assistance

Have you ever been in the situation when you were reversing out of your driveway and you had a near miss when a vehicle came out of nowhere? Collision prevention assistance is designed to prevent this problem from occurring ever again. Different models of cars have different versions of this safety feature, so here is what you might expect to find on your new family car:

  • Reversing camera with sensors. A small camera is mounted in the rear of your car, normally just below the license plate. When your car is placed in reverse, the camera shows you what is happening behind you on a screen that is mounted on your dashboard. Additionally, sensors will monitor your surrounds as you reverse the car, and give an audible alert if you get too close to a stationary object, or if another vehicle gets too close to you. Helpful tip: make sure you wipe the camera lens clean before you reverse on a cold or foggy morning otherwise you will not get a clear image on your dashboard monitor.
  • Driving assistance. Other safety systems available use sensors attached to the car to tell you about moving hazards in your driving path, such as small animals or pedestrians. The sensors are constantly monitoring the area around the car, and will alert you if they predict that a hazard is going to move into the path of your car. This is particularly useful at night when you cannot see these hazards as easily.
  • Attention assistance. This safety feature monitors the way the driver is responding to road conditions, and will provide an alert if it predicts an issue is happening. Example of behaviours the car is monitoring include lane drifting, or continuously moving too close to the side of the road. This is a great safety feature to have on long road trips as it helps to ensure the driver does not fall asleep and drive off the road.

The collision prevention assistance features vary between car makes and models, so ask your car dealer about the specific features on the new car you are interested in.

Emergency Braking

Sometimes it does not matter how alert a driver is when they are driving. There will be situations when a hazard is noticed at the last minute, and the difference between an accident occurring or not comes down to braking reaction times.

Some new car models now come with an emergency breaking system. If the car detects that imminent danger is ahead, it will brake for you. While this may cause a fright to the driver, it could prevent an accident from occurring. It is vital that that you always make sure every person in the car is buckled up if you plan to buy a vehicle with emergency breaking. Emergency braking combined with no seat belts could lead to a person being ejected from the car.

Safety features on new cars continue to advance every year, and this is exciting news when it comes to protecting your loved ones while out on the road. Keep these safety features in mind while you are checking out new cars this year, and have a little more peace of mind that they are well protected while you are out driving.