Family Car Checklist: 10 Safety Features to Look For

Are you planning to buy a family car? Here is the safety-essentials checklist you must look for while you go for car shopping. So that you can ensure you’re purchasing a car that will keep your family safe and secure on the road.

Each year, car manufacturers bring out new models that come up with advanced and innovative family car safety features and high-tech technology. But with so many options in hand, it can be challenging to choose the right car for your family.

There’re surely certain basic things you need to consider while finding a family car, like frontal airbags, sufficient seat belts for each passenger, emergency braking etc. Not to mention, apart from safety considerations, you need to consider your family’s needs and lifestyle.

So, if you’re confused about what to consider while buying a family car, take the following checklist with you and see if the car you’re selecting can meet the family’s safety needs.

10 Safety Features to Look For in A New Family Car

2. Automatic Emergency Braking

Automatic emergency braking is a car’s safety system that can detect any possible collision and respond by automatically activating the brakes to slow down the speed and avoid a serious impact. It also increases the braking force when the driver is applying brakes but is not sufficient to prevent the accident.

This technology mainly uses cameras or radar sensors for collision detection. Some systems work only for low speed like to avoid collision in heavy traffic, cities or parking lots. Whereas some works for both higher speed and lower speed like on the highways and freeways.

2. Advanced Frontal Airbags

Frontal airbags are designed to protect the driver and the front seat people from hitting the windshield, steering wheel or dashboard during a crash. The latest models use sensors to detect things like the size of the passengers or drivers, the severity of the crash, seat belt usage or seat positions. Airbags may not work if the driver is not that heavy or the crash is not such serious.

If your kid sits in the front, make sure to push the seat as far back as possible from the airbags.

3. Side Airbags

Side airbags are designed to deploy during side crashes to prevent passengers from hitting heads and chests to the side parts of the car, an object like pole or tree, a striking vehicle etc.

A head-protecting side airbag is necessary for the car because it may be the only barrier between the passenger’s head and a striking vehicle, as window glass can shatter during a collision or crash. Additionally, it’s recommended not to allow your kids to lean against the windows or the side parts of the car where the airbags are.

4. Advanced Automatic Collision Notification

In case the airbags are deployed and your car sensors get triggered, the system alerts the nearby call center automatically that can pinpoint your location and send the collision details to the emergency medical responders. By enabling medical personnel to identify and diagnose injuries quickly, these details help avoid serious health conditions and deaths among car crash victims.

Some advanced systems can also unlock doors, switch on interior lights and hazard lights or shut off the engine.

5. Automatic Door Locks

An automatic door lock is crucial since it stops the car from accidentally opening while moving. It’s useful to keep your children from falling out of the moving car in the event of an accident. It also stops intruders from entering into the car forcibly when you’re stopped at someplace.

So, it’s advisable to check if your new family car has the automatic door lock feature. If you already own a car and it lacks this safety feature or not working properly, you can trade in your vehicle that’s not working.

6. Rear-view Cameras

Rear-view cameras (also called backup or reverse cameras) help drivers avoid a crash. It’s a special video camera, which is attached to the rear of the car to aid in backing up and reducing a rear blind spot.

Furthermore, rear-view cameras give drivers a more perfect and clear view of any obstacles behind the vehicle. Its advanced backup system comes with an alert tone by which the driver will know if they’re getting closer to an object.

7. Auto-reverse Windows

Car windows with the auto-reverse feature prevent rolling up and rolling back down automatically if something is in the way, such as your kid’s hand. So, it’s better to check that your little ones stay away from the windows before you start driving the car.

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8. Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

The Electronic Stability Control or ESC system incorporates automatic computer-controlled braking for individual wheels to help the drivers maintain control of the car during critical driving situations. For example, if you take a hard turn with stability control, you can avoid rollover accidents with this system. ECS gets automatically activated when it senses an unsual loss of steering control.

9. Pedestrian Detection

It’s an advanced safety feature in a family car where the car will alert you or automatically brakes if there’s a pedestrian in your path within a certain range. It uses radar, cameras and lidar sensors to monitor your car’s surroundings and allow the car or the driver to react accordingly. Thus, you can avoid a crash and keep unwanted people away from your car.

10. Child Presence Detection and Warning System

Though it’s still an emerging feature, a child presence detection and warning system will soon become an important safety measure for a family car. There’ve been many reports where children get locked in cars as a result of being forgotten and died from heatstroke. That’s why many countries like the US, Europe and the Middle East have proposed to compulsory the child presence detection (CPD) system in every car.

By 2023, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) will start assessing the CPS alert systems that notify the driver if a child is left in the car via a mobile alert or an audible noise.

So, by following this car safety checklist, you can go for car shopping for your family.

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