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Safety Feature Must-Haves When Buying a Car

In the past several decades, the expectations for car safety have increased drastically. While you could say cars aren’t built like they used to be, they are safer now than ever before. Part of that is because of the materials being used in cars today, where composites are improving cars in numerous ways. The new technology that we add makes cars safer too, and while some features like blind-spot detection and lane-change assistance aren’t standard yet, there are some car safety features that you should expect from any modern car.

ABS

You may have heard of ABS before without realizing what the acronym actually refers to. If you’ve ever accidentally turned your ABS off or it has failed, leading to a light on your dashboard, you’ve probably questioned whether it’s actually important. Many older cars did not have ABS, antilock braking systems, but you would be hard-pressed to find a modern-day car without it. ABS prevents the wheels from coming to a hard stop when you slam on the brakes, and on wet roads that can help the driver maintain control of the car.

A mechanic checks a Range Rover Evoque's brake disc thickness, with the brake pad still attached
03 March 2020, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart: A car mechanic measures the wear and tear of a brake disc in a Range Rover Evoque in a car workshop | Marijan Murat/picture alliance, Getty Images

Backup cameras are becoming standard

Having a backup camera was once a luxury that high trim levels offered, or you could sometimes pay to have as an added-on option. In modern days, backup cameras are becoming more standard, even in the most affordable, lower model cars. Having backup cameras makes our every day lives better and our driving experience even safer. In the next decade, we should expect more and more cameras to be integrated into our standard car features.

Ford Flex vehicle on display| Andy Cross/The Denver Post, Getty Images

RELATED: The History of Mandated Backup Cameras

Electronic stability control

When you think of safety features you probably think of the newest, most obvious technology like automatic emergency braking. We forget about the most basic, and most important, technology features that our cars need to keep us safe, and one of them is electronic stability control, ESC. ESC prevents your car from rotating if you take a corner a little too quickly, especially on wet or icy roads.

Accident investigator with the Fullerton Police Department | Mindy Schauer/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register, Getty Images

RELATED: Here Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

While some of these safety features aren’t the most exciting, and certainly nothing to brag about, they are a crucial part of our everyday safety. While you can expect to find these options in almost every brand-new car, it is important to check the older, used cars have them before purchasing.