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Safety features in cars today


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What are your guys thoughts on the new safety features in cars such as: Adaptive cruise control, automatic breaking in case of emergency, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, etc.

Do you think they are necessary in cars to make cars more safer than they are or they just a waste of technology? Do they even have a purpose right now?

8 Answers

It's better for people to acquire proper driving skills and pay attention to what they are doing. Those systems are far from fool-proof and can make things worse, plus they are extremely complex, turn minor fender benders into expensive nightmares, and will cost a fortune to repair when the vehicle gets old and is out of warranty.


None of my cars have them and these present just more things to break overtime - good luck getting a competent mechanic or body shop (if you get into accident) to properly calibrate the whole ADAS (active driver assist systems) properly.  Also, they don’t work well all the time (some are way off or engage prematurely - dangerous, others are very finicky and more of an annoyance).

A good driver does not need them, and it would be foolish to solely depend on them.


Adaptive cruise control

It's much better than the old cruise control

automatic breaking in case of emergency, lane keeping assist

I have no experience with it, but it has saved people I know. There will always be situations which are out of humanly control so this could be beneficial.


blind spot warning

Great feature. Obviously , this should be used as a supplement to checking your mirrors, not a replacement.


Do you think they are necessary in cars to make cars more safer than they are or they just a waste of technology? Do they even have a purpose right now?

Most of need to use motor vehicles for day to day life. Many of us are not good at driving and never will be. There will always be bad drivers, and that will never change. These technologies undoubtedly keep those people from doing stupid things, and hurting themselves and others. That's the upshot. The down side is that many people will become more dependent on them, and stop using their judgement (or what little of it they were using before). I'm still undecided whether one outweighs the other.

ABS had growing pains, but eventually matured into a practical feature. These news systems will evolve and eventually become commonplace too.


Yes and No 

In terms of safety I prefer driver skills over the electronic they can fail any time. Not to forget when these things break down they cost huge fortune to fix nope 

Tesla self driving is prime example


Nothing added to a car for the purpose of making more money is ever going to be worth it for me.  You cannot expect demonstrably unreliable electronic do dads to take the place of responsible driving. 


Ironically, insurance rates may go up having all these safety systems on board - since it costs significantly more to repair such cars in an accident.

Great point!. I am certain Teslas and Chevy Bolts cost significantly more to insure than older, less "sophisticated" vehicles. The fire insurance alone must be outrageous!


Let me start off by saying that these are just my thoughts on it - not facts or anything more.

I do believe that these features make things safer. It is hard to argue, IMO, that backing up a car with a backup camera is harder than backing up one without, especially in larger vehicles.

As for the adaptive cruise, etc. and it being necessary...I think it is, but let me explain why. I think people these days lack the willingness/attention span to learn the skills to be a good driver. To be clear, I agree with @ChuckTobias that people should learn these skills so they do not need to depend on technology to save them from mistakes. I 100% agree with that. However, society has made it pretty clear that we are not interested in doing the things we should do. WAIT...I could practically FEEL @Mountainmanjoe roll his eyes in a 'here we go again' type manner. But I'm not going that direction, hear me out as it is on topic.

What I'm talking about is how technology has changed the way we go about our lives. In a world with no cell phone, do I think emergency braking or adaptive cruise is needed? No. Because we would be paying much more attention to the road and we would be able to prevent our own mistakes. But look around. As it is, everyone is Facetiming, Facebooking, YouTubing, etc. while they drive. In fact, driving is almost an aggravating activity to them as it tries to pull their attention back from their phones. Nowadays people want to "drive" as little as possible and are distracted the entire time. So I feel these safety systems are necessary to implement due to the change in driver behavior.

I do not believe they replace human ability to act. My Hondas have all of the Honda Sense stuff, but I can still see problems and brake way earlier than the emergency stop system. So while it doesn't eliminate accidents, I think it helps by at least lowering the velocity of the vehicle striking the rear of another, for example, increasing the survivability rate.

So that's my thoughts on things. And @Mountainmanjoe, you know I'm just messing with you. Lol. Someone has to give you a laugh now and then. Cheers.  Smile  

What you say is sad, but true. We live in a time of widespread distracted driving and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Avoidance systems might be a necessary evil. (My reply above echoed the same thoughts.)


But even smartphones aside, lets not forget about people who are simply bad drivers. I couldn't return a tennis serve to save my life, and similarly some people simply lack the hand-eye coordination, motor skills, spacial awareness, or whatever it takes to competently pilot a vehicle in anything but the most mundane conditions. They could be lovely hard working people with all the best intentions, 100% focused on the road, but they simply lack the necessary skills and good judgement. Some are fully aware of this weakness and will wisely choose not to own a vehicle, but most don't have that luxury and it's a matter of feeding hungry mouths.


And speaking of driving being an aggravating activity, I sure don't enjoy my evening rush hour commute home from work. I completely understand the desire to optimize all those precious hours we spend shuffling ourselves from place to place, and I firmly believe progress will continue to push in that direction. I can't even begin to imagine what that future of transportation will look like.


I feel like adaptive cruise control is probably the only one that is really useful, other than ABS. The others, such as lane management and the automated emergency braking stuff are more reactionary to people allowing themselves to be distracted behind the wheel (cell phones) and are unnecessary if you actually pay attention to the road. 


The flashing 3rd brake light and the 3rd brake light itself were/ are good attention getters. My 1979 Catalina has no 3rd light, and that makes me skittish if drivers notice my brakes sometimes. 


Backup cameras and sensors probably annoy me the most, because they let carmakers keep putting looks over functionality when they poorly size and arrange their back windows to make them look sleek. My Catalina has no passenger side mirror (it was an extra safety option back then that cost money!) The car is almost 18 feet long and over 6 feet wide. I have no problem backing the land yacht into a parking space or pulling in, and I've only been driving it a few months. The visibility is excellent. My '99 Ranger is also easy to maneuver. With my 2017 Mustang, you basically need that camera to really see what you're doing. The rear windows are poorly set and basically useless for determining where your rear end is. Also had a backup sensor in my 2013 Fusion fail to activate in the cold once and I backed into someone's car. Only tapped it, but still happened. 


Blind spot monitors are helpful, but they shouldn't make up for ergonomics and functionality of the design. My Catalina has minimal blind spots. The pillars are small and the windows are like a greenhouse. My Ranger has a couple, but the Mustang has the worst to the rear. I feel like a lot of newer cars have worse blind spots because of their styling these days. 

good point. I'll take thoughtfully designed windows over cameras any day.

I use spot mirrors for blind spot monitors. Cheap and effective. There used to be accessory 3rd brake lights you could buy for older cars that lacked them. I don't know if they're still available. It might be possible to adapt a factory light from a later model. Early on they typically were mounted inside the back window on the parcel shelf.

Thanks, I never really paid much attention to that until I've been able to jump back and forth between my ancient cars and high tech new car, lol.