PART 2: Child focused safety features for the exterior of your vehicle
Most family friendly vehicles come with a long list of child focused safety features, but what do they actually mean?
We have put together a brief list of vehicle safety features that you might want to consider when purchasing a child friendly vehicle. A lot of the features we mention are standard, but we want to explain what role they play in your family’s safety.
DOOR LOCKS – REAR CHILD SECURITY LOCKS: Child safety locks are built into the rear doors of most vehicles to prevent rear seat passengers from opening the doors, both during transit and while the vehicle is stationary. These locks provide the driver with a simple, safe & secure method of preventing unauthorized exit from the car.
WINDOWS – REAR WINDOW LOCK-OUT FEATURE: A driver-controlled lockout switch prevents passengers (usually small children) from accidentally triggering the switches.
SAFETY RATINGS – NCAP 5 STAR SAFETY RATING: The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rates vehicles to determine crash worthiness and rollover safety. The safety ratings are gathered during controlled crash and rollover tests, which are conducted at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s research facilities. Five stars indicate the highest safety rating.
AIR FILTRATION SYSTEM: This system recirculates cabin air to help prevent exhaust fumes from entering the interior of the vehicle. The filters also remove dust, pollen and other airborne irritants from outside air that is pulled into the vehicle.
REINFORCED STEEL SAFETY CAGE: Helps diffuse impact energy in the passenger compartment and provides a stronger foundation structure.
CRUMPLE ZONES: Crumple zones literally crumple up in a collision by absorbing the energy of the collision and diverting it from the passenger compartment. As a result the safety cage remains intact.
SIDE IMPACT BEAMS:Side impact cross-car beams help channel energy during a collision.
STABILITRAK: Electronic Stability Control System intervenes automatically, helping prevent lateral skids and restore steering control.
PROCACTIVE ROLL AVOIDANCE (on most SUV’s): Proactive roll avoidance reduces the vehicle’s tendency to roll over in a panic situation.
TRACTION CONTROL: A system that automatically applies brake pressure to appropriate wheels, limiting the wheel-spin and helping to re-establish traction.
FORWARD COLLISION ALERT:Forward Collision Alert is a crash-avoidance system that uses sensors to help detect when the driver is getting too close to a vehicle. The systems alerts the driver with visual cues on the dashboard, as well as an audible alert.
LANE DEPARTURE WARNING AND SIDE BLIND ZONE ALERT:A camera, mounted in the rear-view mirror, reads the lines on the road. Should the vehicle stray, the system alerts the driver via visible and audible cues.
REAR PARK ASSIST: This is designed to alert the driver of obstacles while parking. These systems use either electromagnetic or ultrasonic sensors.
REAR BACK-UP CAMERA: Back-up camera displays are activated on a monitor when the vehicle is set in reverse. This is alternatively known as ‘reversing cameras’ or ‘rear view cameras’ and it is specifically designed to avoid a backup collision.
HILL START ASSIST: The system prevents the car from rolling away when driving on an upward or downward incline. The system engages automatically when the vehicle is completely stopped on an incline; it then acts to hold the car stationary for two seconds after the brake is released, giving the driver time to apply the throttle.
TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM: A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is an electronic system for monitoring your vehicle’s tire pressure. A tire pressure monitoring system will alert drivers when underinflated tires are detected.
SOME OTHER CONVENIENT SAFETY FEATURES TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A VEHICLE WITH A CHILD IN MIND ARE: Wheel mounted audio controls, DVD entertainment with headphones, auxiliary audio input jack, USB Port, flat-folding rear seats, fold-flat front passenger seats, remote start, cargo area security net, halogen headlamps, fog lights, cup holders, extra lighting, keyless entry, Bluetooth and a large storage area.
We hope you enjoy all the excitement that comes along with selecting a new vehicle with your family. Please remember to ask your sales associate what standard and optional features come with your vehicle of choice. Walk away with peace of mind knowing that your family is safe and secure.