Most family-friendly vehicles come with a long list of child-focused safety features, but what do they all mean? We have put together a short list of vehicle safety features that you might want to consider when purchasing a child-friendly vehicle. A lot of the features listed below do come standard, but what roll do they play in your family’s traveling safety?
3-point belts: A 3-point belt is a ‘Y’-shaped arrangement, similar to the separate lap and sash belts, but unitized. Like the separate lap-and-sash belt, in a collision, the 3-point belt spreads out the energy of the moving body over the chest, pelvis, and shoulders.
Safety belt pre-tensioners: Reduces slack that may exist in a seatbelt system at the moment of a collision.
Shoulder belt height adjusters: Simply aligns the seat belt comfortably away from the neck of the passengers when properly positioning the height of the seat belt.
LATCH (Lower Anchors and Top Tethers for Children) Rear Seats: Also known in Canada as, LUAS (Lower Universal Anchorage System). LATCH is a way to secure a child safety seat to the vehicle using straps from the child safety seat that connect to special metal anchors in the vehicle. LATCH consists of lower anchors and top tethers, which are built-in to your vehicle, and connecting hooks that are built-in to your car seat. Lower anchors are used instead of the vehicle’s safety belt to secure the child seat to the vehicle. Tethers are used in addition to the lower anchors or the vehicle’s safety belt to secure a forward-facing child safety seat to the vehicle.
Vehicle LATCH Anchors:
Lower Anchors: These are a pair of metal “u-shaped” bars that are often hidden in the crack of the vehicle’s seat.
Tether Anchors: These are metal rings that are found behind each rear vehicle seat.
OnStar In-Vehicle Communications and Assistance Service – Subscription-based communication that provides customers with peace of mind through auto security and safety features -these include:
Automatic Crash Response
Stolen Vehicle Assistance
Remote Door Unlock
Remote Horn and Lights
Sliding rear seat: The rear seats have the ability to slide back and forth to give more leg room or more rear cargo space.
Tinted glass: Solar-absorbing tinted windows that are UV-filtered to limit children’s sun exposure.
Driver and Front Passenger Frontal Air Bags: Front air bags that help restrain the driver and front passenger in moderate to severe front impact crashes. Dual-depth units automatically adjust the deployment of the air bags based on the severity of the collision, the seat position and other factors.
Airbag Deactivation: The purpose of the switch in the OFF position is to disable a frontal air bag in order to transport occupants who are at increased risk for air bag-related injury due to age, size, or medical condition.
Head Curtain Side Impact Airbags: Seat-mounted and head curtain air bags help provide additional protection in moderate to severe side impact crashes.
ABS (Anti-Lock Brake System): ABS helps the driver maintain proper vehicle steering control during hard braking, even on slick surfaces. ABS is standard equipment on most GM and Honda vehicles.
Hill Start Assist: This system prevents the car from rolling when trying to pull away on an upward or downward incline. The system engages automatically when the vehicle is at a complete stop 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.
Some other convenient features to consider when buying a vehicle with children are: Steering wheel mounted audio controls, DVD entertainment with headphones, auxiliary audio input jack, USB ports, flat-folding rear seats, fold-flat front passenger seat, 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 with selecting a new vehicle for you and your family. Remember to ask your sales associate what features are standard and which are optional when you are selecting a vehicle. Give yourself peace of mind and leave our dealerships knowing your family is safe and secure.
Coming soon- PART 2: Child focused safety features for the exterior of your vehicle.
photo credit: http://www.mymetroparents.com