Buyers' Guide: Safety for the whole whānau
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With so many vehicles on the market, choosing a car that suits your budget, your general lifestyle and your family is often easier said than done.
The choices may seem endless, but can be narrowed down once you start to look closely: this one doesn’t have the safety features important to you, this one’s impractical for your lifestyle, and that one isn’t large enough.
If safety is at the forefront of your purchase decision, here are some basic features commonly found in today’s vehicles to look out for.
This is such a simple feature that comes in a lot of new cars today, and begs the question: how did we live without it? Once you shift to reverse, the screen automatically shows you what is behind you.
Mostly used as a parking aid by providing a bumper-level view, a backup camera can also assist with spotting a child or pedestrian in the blind zone behind the vehicle.
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
If you’re driving under 50-60km/h and a car suddenly stops in front of you, AEB technology will stop you from hitting that car.
Blind spot monitoring
Using radar or cameras, this system illuminates a light or icon in or adjacent to the outside mirrors to warn that another vehicle is lurking in the lane beside you.
Lane keep assist
When activated, lane keep assist helps keep you from wandering into someone else’s lane.
A camera-based system detects the lane marking to keep you in the centre of the lane. If the system notices that you are moving too close to the left or to the right, it will gently steer you back to the correct position.
Isofix provides a more secure and easier way of attaching child seats in cars. Basically, fitting points are built into both cars and child car seats when they are manufactured. An Isofix child seat is ‘plugged’ into the corresponding fitting points in the car, removing the need to use the car’s seat belts to secure it.
Factory sun shades are now available in a few models, keeping the little ones away from those harmful rays. Some examples include the BMW X3, Mazda CX-9 and the Honda Odyssey.
Of course, aftermarket sunshades are available at parts suppliers — that’s if you fancy licking a flimsy suction cup regularly.
Keeping your family safe should be your number one priority.
Though accidents do happen, using safety features in modern cars can help avoid mishaps.