Importance of Safety Features in Modern Cars

Navigant Research's Sam Abuelsamid explains why advanced driver assistance systems are helpful to young drivers to Chicago Tribune

In a recent article by the Chicago Tribune on modern safety systems in vehicles, Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst with Navigant Research, provided insight on the importance of driver assistance systems and the benefits of common sense safety for young drivers.

According to the article, systems like electronic stability control, forward collision braking, and general driver assistance features can minimize and even prevent car accidents. And in a recent study by the Institute for Highway Safety, forward collision braking reduced front-end collisions by 50% between 2010 and 2014.

With the advent of smartphones and other distractions available to young drivers, Abuelsamid believes advanced driver assistance systems are a real boon for teenagers.

“It gives more situational awareness if they haven’t been paying attention," said Abuelsamid. To combat electronics distractions, Abuelsamid recommends purchasing vehicles or accessories that enable hands-free calling, "because kids are going to make calls."

However, due to the increasing prices of new vehicles, such advanced safety features aren't always available, especially for teenagers. In addition, larger vehicles like SUVs can be more powerful and difficult for young drivers to handle.  

"Cars today have a higher level of performance capability than they ever had in the past,” Abuelsamid said. “It’s so much easier to get in trouble. Go for the basic powertrain; on almost any newer vehicle it offers more than enough performance.”

As for the most practical of advice, he recommends general maintenance. "Check tire pressure, check oil, check engine lights; teach the kid how to change a flat tire. These are basic things everyone should learn.”

For more on this topic, read the full article.

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