Most of you know that my husband has worked for Geico for almost 10 years now. Throughout his time with the company, he has held a variety of positions, but right now, he is actually a trainer managing a class of new employees who are learning the work of the claims department. So you can only imagine who’s voice I hear in my head while I’m driving, right?!
“The individual backing up in an accident is always at fault!”
“If you were keeping a proper lookout, that never would have happened.”
“Kristen, ALWAYS HIT THE ANIMAL. It’s WAY cheaper to hit a squirrel than hit another car because you were trying to avoid the squirrel.”
You get the idea.
Something else he has always drilled into my head is that the more safety features your vehicle has, the more discounts you can get on your insurance premium! Free advice, folks.
But what I did NOT know was that you can actually ADD IN some of those safety features!
If you’re not ready to buy a new car or recently bought a new car without some of the pricier features, you can still add aftermarket safety products to keep you and your family safe. As safe driving expert and blogger Alex Perdikis explains, roads are becoming safer, but it’s up to drivers to make sure their cars are safe. Here are four safety car add-ons you use right now.
- Forward Collision Warning Devices
Many new cars come equipped with forward collision systems that automatically brake the car. You won’t get that with an aftermarket system, but you will be warned in time to apply the brakes yourself. Aftermarket systems come with a variety of features, many that integrate with a smartphone.
Utilizing cameras, sensors and radar, forward collision warning systems scan the area in front of the car and alert you when you’re closing in too fast.
The typical setup uses a camera installed to the inside mirror that includes a dash display and speaker. You’ll hear audible warnings and see visual alerts if you follow too closely, leave your lane without signaling or approach a bicyclist or pedestrian. Higher-end systems dip your high beams automatically, read speed-limit signs and monitor how fast you’re going.
- Backup Cameras
It’s hard to find a driver who has never backed up into anything. It’s impossible to see posts, raised concrete slabs and other short, but potentially dangerous objects. Maybe drivers don’t have the same excuse for backing up into taller objects, but hey, nobody’s perfect.
Backup cameras make fitting into tight parking spaces easier and safer. Available aftermarket backup camera systems include a basic bumper-level view with display. Several manufacturers offer enhanced systems as well, many of which include backup sensors, forward collision warnings and lane-departure alerts.
Digital wireless systems are easiest to install and offer reduced interference levels from other wireless devices. For advanced safety, purchase a system that includes night-vision capabilities, wide-angle views and car path guidelines.
- Blind Spot Monitors
The good old blind spot – responsible for countless accidents over the years. It’s a fact that you just can’t see every space around your car while sitting inside. Mirrors help, but not enough. That’s where Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) systems come in.
Also called blind spot warning (BSW), blind spot detection and blind spot information systems, a BSM uses radar sensors or cameras to scan and detect cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and other objects that enter into your right or left blind spot areas. Warnings appear in the car’s windshield frame and side view mirrors. Most systems have audible alerts as well. Additional available features include lane and obstruction warnings.
- Parking Sensors
Parking is another often difficult maneuver that most drivers struggle with at some point. Not only do you have to navigate into and out of a small space, you have to be constantly aware of what’s going on around you. Adults and, perhaps children, are walking around, other cars appear out of nowhere and unseen shopping carts can wreak havoc And here you are, trying to park without hitting anything.
Parking sensors take some of the guess work out of parking. Ultrasonic or electromagnetic sensors measure the distance of objects around the car and alert you with a set of audible warnings signals if you get too close. Basic parking sensors won’t detect moving objects, but new features are being added all of the time. When purchasing a parking sensor warning system, look for the following:
- Compatibility: Make sure the system you’re looking at is compatible with your vehicle.
- Number of sensors: Sensor numbers vary – typically, the more sensors, the safer you’ll be.
- Product Quality: Research the products you’re considering. Buy the highest quality warning system you can afford.
Thanks so much for this info, Alexis! Part of being domestic is keeping our families safe, right? Now, I’m off to check into some of these features for my vehicle!
What safety feature would you add to YOUR vehicle?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!