Ten 2017 automobiles utilizing cutting-edge safety technology!
If you think phones are getting more complicated, you should see what automakers are coming up with for your car. Sure, you've got your video screens, wireless connectivity and - everyone's favorite - heated seats. But safety is the biggest driver of new car technology.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2.3 million Americans were injured in crashes during 2014, and 32,675 people were killed. Those numbers have been decreasing from year to year, but until we hit "0", car manufacturers will keep developing ways to keep drivers safer behind the wheel.
Technologies like crash avoidance, automatic braking and increasingly sophisticated sensors up your odds of getting there and back safely, but no technology can replace common sense. "Distracted driving" is the biggest cause of accidents: texting or being on your phone causes 1.6 million crashes each year.
Volvo recently made headlines by vowing to create a "crash proof" car by 2020. In the meantime, slip into one of these super-safe cars, each rated a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). But remember, hands at "10 and 2" and always buckle up.
1. VOLVO S60Volvo is famous for protecting occupants in crash situations; they're credited with developing the collision mitigation system that appears on more and more new cars. Naturally, it comes on this model, along with a full host of airbags, blind-spot warning system, lane departure warning and front and rear parking sensors.
2. VOLVO S80
The front airbags have individual sections that protect chest and hip. Besides the monitors that alert you to blind spots, pending collisions or lane drift, there's one for driver fatigue (all optional). The City Safety system triggers the brakes (under 20 mph) when it detects cyclists, pedestrians or objects.
For years, this model has ranked among one of the safest cars on the road. The current model ups the ante with a rear view camera and a driver's knee airbag. There are optional systems for automatic braking, lane departure warning and collision mitigation.
Besides the usual airbags, collision warning system and anti-lock brakes, this luxury crossover utility vehicle has something pretty impressive. If it senses an impending accident, the PreSafe System automatically closes the windows and sunroof, and tightens the seatbelts.
5. ACURA RLX
Standard equipment includes airbags for the front and side, along with full-length side curtain airbags and a driver's side knee airbag. There's a rear-view camera, plus blind spot monitors, lane departure warnings and sensors that alert you when you're too close to something or someone.
It comes with an automatic braking system that first warns you with light braking; if you then don't stop the car, it stops itself. You'll also be alerted if you drift from your lane. There's also technology that helps you get the car going if you're stuck on a hill.
Even though it's an economy car, it features some fancy safety technology, including Smart City Brake Support. If it senses a low-speed collision coming, the car automatically brakes if you don't. Naturally, a full series of airbags come standard along with antilock brakes, active front head restraints and more.
Chevy is the only American make to make the list for 2016. For a small car, this model packs serious safety punch, with a rollover sensor that triggers side curtain airbags if the car rolls. Separate lower airbags minimize knee damage. Also has antilock brakes and electronic stability control.
Besides low-speed auto-braking (under 19 mph), it will also brake automatically at 25 mph to avoid crashes. Among its many airbags, the ones located in the lower instrument panel minimize knee injuries from an accident. And it comes with a forward collision warning system.
10. AUDI Q5
This midsize luxury SUV features antilock brakes and electronic stability control to minimize potential rollover. But if that happens, a sensor deploys the side curtain airbags. Additional rear seat-mounted torso bags are available as an option.