High-end safety features and technology have normally been reserved for high-end luxury vehicles. But as the automotive industry continues to see advancements in tech, more and more of these great features are filtering down to lower-cost models. What does this mean for the average consumer? Even affordable models are now packed full of the latest and greatest in safety and technology.
Safety Features Have Never Been More Available and Affordable
Technology and vehicles continue to grow and evolve together. The passenger vehicle is smarter, more refined and more efficient than ever before. And the advancements in safety have been profound.
It used to be that these great safety features would be reserved for the most expensive vehicles. Now high-end technology is making its way into even the most affordable vehicle segments. Why?
Auto safety-focused agencies, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), studied their effectiveness and began advocating for them. Consumers let it be known that they were desirable as well.
Now, automakers are finding ways to make these kinds of technologies more available and affordable, even in the most modest vehicle categories. As the years advance, expect this trend to continue in big ways.
Crash Avoidance Technologies are Making a Difference
Crash avoidance technologies were revolutionized with anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Today, we are seeing additional crash avoidance tech become commonplace, including backup cameras, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and blind spot detection.
But the focal point in recent years has been on frontal crash prevention.
Frontal crash prevention systems use radar, sensors and/or cameras to warn drivers if their vehicle is closing in on another one at a potentially hazardous rate of speed. Forward collision warning systems will engage the driver with visual and audible alerts. Systems with automatic braking go a step further and apply the brakes if the driver doesn't react quickly enough.
The IIHS recently released the results of a study that found that these systems are extremely effective. Here are some of the eye-opening results:
- Forward collision warning alone reduced rear-end crashes by nearly 25%
- Vehicles with both forward collision warning and automatic braking reduced them by 39%
- Injuries resulting from rear-end crashes plummeted by 42% with both of these features
- If all U.S. vehicles had front crash prevention, an estimated 300,000 injuries could have been prevented in 2013
When safety systems are as obviously effective at saving lives as these latest crash avoidance technologies are, change is going to come about. And it has already started to.
Starting in 2015, the IIHS made it a requirement for vehicles to have automatic braking as an option for it to be considered as a Top Safety Pick Plus. And for the 2018 model year, the NHTSA will consider automatic emergency braking technology as a criterion for its 5-Star Safety Rating system.
Automakers are paying attention to this type of feedback as well. Many have already pledged to make forward collision warning and automatic braking systems standard on all new cars in the near future.
What This All Means for You
At Auto Credit Express, we help credit-challenged consumers get connected to dealers so that they can buy a car. But since many of our customers are dealing with tight budgets, we often stress that these consumers need to stay within their budgets and buy something that they can comfortably afford.
But thanks to all of these technological advancements, even affordable entry-level models are packed with safety and tech features today. And as the advances keep coming, these types of features will only become even more available and affordable.
- Hyundai just announced the pricing for the 2017 Elantra, which they loaded with the latest in safety and technology, and it's $100 cheaper than the 2016 model year with a starting MSRP of $17,150. It also has automatic braking as an option.
- The 2016 Scion iA, which just recently hit showrooms, is the least expensive vehicle ever to come standard with a front-crash prevention system.
These examples are only the tip of the iceberg. It all adds up to show that the consumer is the real winner in all of this.
These days, you can give yourself, your family or your teen driver a little added protection without breaking the bank. Plus, you can save the time, money and hassle that comes along with even the smallest fender-bender by avoiding them all together.
Even if you have bruised credit, Auto Credit Express can help you. We are connected to the largest network of special finance car dealers in the country, and there's one in your area waiting to help you. Get started by filling out our free and secure online application today.