6 Safety Features to Look for When Buying a New Car

As car technology improves, so do their safety features. With a whole new world of optional safety features out there, here’s a list of some of the best ones to look out for when buying a new car.
Written by Hannah DeWitt
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Black dash and wheel of a Ram car with a large infotainment screen.
Some safety features are now mandatory for all new cars, such as rearview cameras and antilock brakes. However, there are also plenty of
new safety features
that might be unfamiliar to some drivers. 
Here are some of our favorite advanced safety features that you can find on most new cars, straight from
Kelley Blue Book

The latest crash-prevention safety features

Many new cars come with forward-collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard equipment. FCW usually uses radars, lasers, and cameras, or a combination of all three. The system uses those tools to detect when your vehicle is about to hit another vehicle or similar object.
The system usually has audible and visual alerts to make the driver brake or swerve to safety. Some FCW systems now have built-in pedestrian detection, which can also sense animals on the road.
AEB works similarly to FCW, though many of these systems will automatically apply the brakes for you. Sometimes an AEB system requires initial input from the driver before it activates.
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How important are blind-spot monitors?

MORE: Safety Over Power: Here Are the Top 3 Safest Midsize SUVs of 2021
Accidents are common on the highway because it can be hard to see cars weaving in and out of your rearview mirrors. Blind-spot monitors use sensors on the bumper of a vehicle to detect incoming cars. The driver will be alerted by either an audible noise, warning lights, or a visual display on the infotainment screen.

These safety features help drivers pay attention

There are several features designed to help keep drivers inside the lane lines, but lane-departure warning is typically the most common. It uses a small camera mounted on your vehicle's front bumper to monitor your place in the lane. When you're drifting too far, you'll either receive a warning or get steered back into a safer position automatically.
Driver-attention monitors are usually reserved for higher trims, but they can be incredibly beneficial. An interior camera with LED sensors will track the driver's eye movements and activity, as well as their head movements. 
Many drivers can get into accidents because they get sick or drowsy behind the wheel at night. The audible alerts from this system can jolt you awake or remind you to pull over until you can resume driving.
Safety and driver attentiveness culminate together in the form of adaptive cruise control (ACC). The driver can adjust the system to pilot the car at a preset speed, either on the highway or in city traffic. ACC can detect cars on all sides of your vehicle, adjusting the speed if necessary. 
Contrary to popular belief, cruise control software programs in current cars can't operate on their own. All of these systems still require a slight input from the driver, like hands on the steering wheel. This keeps drivers aware of their surroundings, yet still allows them to ease their feet off the pedals.

Do extra safety features make your car insurance rates go up?

Safety features themselves don't negatively impact your coverage, so don't be afraid to splurge on more! The likelihood of avoiding an accident can increase significantly if your car has more safety features.
However, if you become involved in an accident that was deemed to be your fault, your insurance premiums will likely go up. Fortunately, you can save money on insurance for any car when you sign up with
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