There is always the temptation to save money by cutting corners when you are shopping for a new or used car. Globally, however, 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year. Although there are some bells and whistles you should skip for the sake of cost, you still need to prioritize your safety. Should you go without the backup camera or adaptive cruise control system? This guide will tell you what safety features are worth paying for — and which ones you can afford to leave out.
Which Features Are Worth the Extra Cost?
Blind-Spot Monitoring Systems
The blind-spot monitoring system focuses on the areas you may not be able to see while driving. The system alerts you when a fellow driver is on the side of you before you cross into a lane.
The blind-spot monitoring system will add more to your car’s purchase price, but it’s an absolute must for many buyers. This feature prevents dozens of accidents every year by giving drivers better oversight of their surroundings.
Of the reported 110,400 employed underwriters, roughly 42% worked with direct insurance carriers as of 2018. Such carriers could testify of the importance of having a vehicle that reduces the probability of an accident on the road. Blind-spot monitoring is, in other words, a dream for your insurance company. But it’s also a great way for you to protect yourself and your loved ones while on the road.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Whereas the blind-spot monitoring system alerts drivers of objects and people in areas they can’t immediately see, automatic emergency braking stops the vehicle to avoid a collision.
Preventing accidents can mean big savings. Over 157 million Americans are in credit card debt. Such debt can grow to astronomical amounts if you have an at-fault accident and don’t have adequate insurance to cover the damages. Automatic emergency braking can prevent you from having an accident that can send your finances spiraling out of order. Even more importantly, this feature can help you avoid significant injuries.
Forward or Rear Collision Warning
While it is true that electric vehicles will make up the majority (54%) of new car sales worldwide by 2040, the roads are still heavily populated with gas-powered vehicles that travel at higher rates of speed. You’ll want to avoid a collision as much as possible, which is why the forward or rear collision warning feature is imperative.
A forward or rear collision warning system uses radar or LiDAR technology to warn you of impending contact with another vehicle or a pedestrian. This feature differs from blind-spot monitoring in that the collision warning does not work to prevent an accident as much as it operates to help you prepare for impact.
Forward or rear collision warning is a necessary safety feature because it can reduce your likelihood of significant injury. You can likely prepare your body for the jolt that comes with a car crash when you know an impact is imminent. While it might not prevent the accident from occurring, it can help you stay safe during the inevitable.
Lane Departure Warning
Sleep-deprived drivers sometimes drift out of their lanes, which raises the risk of an accident. Lane departure warning works to warn you if your vehicle is crossing into another lane to avoid a potential crash. Visual or audible alerts work to gently advise you to travel a straight path. This can be highly useful in a number of situations, particularly with younger or older drivers who may need safety reminders.
Drivers spend an average of 17 hours a year searching for parking spots. It’s not uncommon for you to find the perfect parallel parking spot only to lack the confidence needed to fit into the space.
Backup cameras are lifesavers (literally, in some cases!) when you need to park or leave quickly. The feature activates a rear camera when you put the car in reverse that provides a clear picture of the objects behind you and how much space you have before backing into them. Of course, this feature can also allow you to avoid accidents when backing out of a space. While you should still employ good driving habits and stay aware of your surroundings, the backup camera can fill in the gaps.
All cars manufactured for the United States market after 2018 are required to have backup cameras. You may want to consider paying additional money to get a more up-to-date vehicle if you are in the market for a used car.
Features You May Not Need
Now that you know which features are worth the extra cost, which ones can you skip?
Adaptive cruise control is a feature that uses sensors and cameras to automatically adjust speeds that maintain safe distances on the road. This can be beneficial during long road trips. You do not, however, absolutely need this feature.
Lane-keeping assist is also a feature you may be able to bypass. The lane departure warning feature is likely enough to prevent you from crossing into another lane and colliding with a vehicle. Lane-keeping assist features literally prevent your car from crossing into another lane by employing braking or steering corrections. In many cases, this may be an extra feature you don’t really require — and if you have a teen that’s just learning to drive, it’s probably better that they aren’t completely reliant on technology to keep them safe.
Everyone is looking to save money. There are, however, some safety features you should not go without while driving. Use this guide when determining what features you should take and which options you may want to leave behind. Once you know which features are a must, you can work them into your budget for a better car-buying experience.