According to the Department for Transport, every 1 in 5 cars will bear at least one traffic accidence on the road, but only 1 in 3 will take a death toll. Although not every car accidents are the same, there are safety devices which can always take the credit home.
Modern cars are equipped with safety devices that allow the driver to avoid making mistakes that could be fatal. Of course, these devices are not foolproof, but they are a complement to the intelligence, reaction time and behaviour of the driver. In many situations, these safety devices go into action without you even noticing. So let's spend some time appreciate them, shall we?
1. Seat belts
Your seat belt will not prevent you from having an accident, but it will prevent you from being thrown out of the vehicle.
Indeed, at the time of a collision, the body of the occupants continues to move at the speed at which the vehicle was moving before the collision. But imagine when speeding at 100 km/h, how bodies will move in the passenger compartment at the time of the collision.
So, as is often the case, people in the back who were not wearing their seat belts become downright projectiles in the vehicle. Do you have any idea what damage a body can do at 100 km/h in a vehicle?
To get an idea, suffice to say that the impact force at the time of a collision at 50 km/h corresponds to 35 times the weight of the projected body.
In a collision, the seat belt will keep you more secure when the airbag deploys. It will slow your run to the cushion and allow it to do its job properly and safely.
2. Air bags and curtains
Airbags are add to the protection offered by seat belts. The airbags are connected to sensors that activate as soon as they register a sudden and very strong deceleration.
When activated, the detectors send an electrical signal which ignites a chemical. When ignited, this chemical produces nitrogen gas which inflates the cushion. It goes without saying that everything takes place at the speed of lightning – less than a twentieth of a second!
3. The electronic stability control system
The electronic stability control system, called ESP in English (for Electronic Stability Control), intervenes to help you maintain control of your vehicle when you have to steer or brake suddenly to avoid an obstacle.
This system compares the position of the steering wheel with the trajectory of your vehicle. If he spots a significant difference, he applies the brakes on one or more wheels or reduces the engine power. As this system usually activates by default when the engine is started, you will have to deactivate it manually when the need arises, for example when you are stuck in snow.
4. Anti-lock braking system
The anti-lock braking system or ABS (for Anti-Blocking System) is a device that allows the driver to keep control of the direction by preventing the wheels of his vehicle from locking up when braking, which would invariably cause a skid.
Since the mid-1980s, ABS has been on the standard equipment list for an ever increasing number of vehicles sold in Canada.
The best way to optimize the use of the traction control system is to apply and maintain pressure on the brake pedal until the vehicle comes to a complete stop, while maneuvering to avoid the obstacle.
But don't worry! When you apply the brakes heavily, you may feel the pedal vibrate. For some vehicle models, this is normal! It is quite simply the device which applies and releases the pressure on the very high frequency brakes.
Remember, however, that the performance of an anti-lock braking system is commensurate with the condition of your car tires. In addition, in winter ABS will naturally perform better when the vehicle is fitted with winter tires.
5. The anti-skid system
The anti-skid system uses ABS brakes to push or pull a vehicle in loss of control in the direction desired by its driver.
Although it can be used on dry pavement, this system is especially effective in slippery conditions, on snow, ice, water or gravel, for example.
If the rear of the vehicle seeks to pass in front (oversteer), the anti-skid applies an appropriate force to the opposite front brake in order to realign the rear of the vehicle. Conversely, if a vehicle initiates understeer, the system applies the brakes to the interior wheels to return the vehicle to its path.
6. The non-return system
This type of system has a rollover sensor that works in concert with ABS brakes and traction control.
This sensor measures the angular roll speed of the vehicle several times per second and determines when and how to apply the brakes and modify the engine power so that the four wheels adhere to the road.
7. The collision avoidance system
Some automakers have developed a collision warning system. This system can trigger warning lights or audible signals to warn the driver of the imminent collision, when an obstacle is detected in the path of the vehicle by the on-board computer.
In the event that the driver does not react, this system can automatically apply the brakes, gradually.
The objective pursued by developing such technology is not to compensate for the distraction of motorists and to prevent an accident. Rather, it is to alert the distracted driver to a situation that presents a potential for danger, to allow him to react in time.
Otherwise, this system must help reduce the severity of an impact and, therefore, the risk of injury or death. These systems usually use a camera and a radar sensor to transfer data to the on-board computer.
8. Adopt good driving habits
Driving safety is more than just safety devices that take care of your vehicle to keep you off the road. It is first to know the right driving techniques. Driving lessons are essential training for the beginner.
However, it is worthwhile for drivers who have accumulated years of driving to take advantage of the lessons provided by the courses in advanced driving techniques (skidding and collision avoidance techniques, etc.).
Here too, it is worth considering refreshing the concepts of driving learned, sometimes several years ago. After all, the construction of motor vehicles, their equipment and their size have changed a lot over the years.
In addition, too many people get behind the wheel while intoxicated or under the influence of any drug, drive at excessive speeds, especially in winter, neglect to clear snow on their vehicle before leaving or use a cell phone. driving while driving, in particular. In some cases, we speak of neglect, in others, of unconsciousness; however, some people are reckless when driving their vehicles.
Adopting good driving habits is the only smart way to do it. After all, remember: you are not alone on the road! Be responsible!