A guest post for GoGet from finder.com.au.

Car safety features that were once revolutionary are becoming standard inclusions in new vehicles today. A variety of car safety features are embedded in vehicles to help you safely get from A to B. Although you have no control over other drivers on the road, you do have control over how you drive, and how you use your vehicle’s car safety technologies.

At the time of writing (May 2018) 303 people have died on Australian roads this year. This figure is 17% higher than the same time in 2017, which shows the need for new ways to improve road safety.

Here are some of the ways new car safety features help Aussies become safer drivers, and are reducing the number of fatalities.

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View of the sunset from the side view mirror of a car while driving down the road. Shallow depth of field. Great image for illustrating blind spots.

Reverse cameras and sensors

Relying on rear view and side mirrors (and a sore neck) to see what’s behind your car is a thing of the past. Reverse cameras can now give you an in-dash display of the area directly behind your vehicle. This extra set of technological eyes can help you to see small objects that would otherwise be hidden by your car.

Some reverse cameras have coloured lines displayed on screen to help you park and may also have sensors that beep if you’re close to hitting something. This can help you with reverse parking, and with the dreaded parallel park!

Sensors can also monitor lane markings and tell you if you start drifting outside your lane, and possibly into another car. 

An in car reverse camera screen, showing a man in fatigues walking behind the car with a box - reverse cameras are a very worthwhile car safety feature

Automatic braking

This lowers the chances of you rear-ending the car ahead of you. Sensors on the front of your car can alert you if you get too close to an object in front. Some cars will alert you with an alarm, while others use steering wheel vibrations.

In more advanced cars the brakes may be applied automatically, to stop you tailgating a slow driver.

Three disc brakes on a white background - automatic braking is one of the car safety features making the road a safer place

Responsive headlights

Some headlights automatically switch on when you enter a dark space, like a tunnel or parking lot. They then turn themselves off once you’re back in an area with good lighting. This is great, as it helps you see the road ahead of you, keeping your path nice and bright!

It also means you can keep your eyes on the road, instead of having to switch your headlights on and off yourself.

the headlights of a red muscle car - old headlights might look good but new automatical headlights are a great car safety feature

Voice control technology

This feature removes the temptation to touch your phone while driving, so you can keep your eyes and your focus on the road. By using your phone’s Bluetooth and your car’s audio system, you can operate your phone hands-free while driving.

In some cars you can ask where the nearest service station is and directions will appear on the screen. You can also write and send text messages, make phone calls and start listening to music with just your voice.

Hands of woman driver on steering wheel of car driving on road in rainy weather

New car safety features = safer driving

At the end of the day, if you’re behind the wheel, you must have control of your car all the time. Car safety features can’t replace safe driving habits, just in case something doesn’t work right. Knowing how to use the your car safety features, as well as driving safely, can reduce your chance of having an accident and ultimately save lives.

About Bessie Hassan

Bessie is the Money Expert for finder.com.au – the site that compares virtually everything. Bessie's an experienced commentator who often appears on national radio, TV, and throughout online publications sharing her best money-saving tips and property advice. Bessie is passionate about empowering Australians to make better decisions, whatever it is they’re looking for.