Juliet McGuire

How safe is your car?

This is a question that might unsettle you. Especially if you know your car lacks many safety features you just can’t afford. I came across an article ages ago and keep meaning to discuss it, but you know…life.

Anyhoozal, the article I read is titled, “The most significant development since the safety belt,” and it is discusses the amazing technology that is Active Emergency Braking (AEB).

Did you know that not one person has been killed in a Volvo XC90 since it went on sale in the UK in 2002. According to the independent laboratory Thatcham Research, it is the safest car it has ever tested. We all know about Volvo’s safety track record, one could call them the leaders in such tech.

Volvo was also an early leader in the use of camera and radar systems to warn drivers about hazards on the road. Systems which now bring you to a complete stop.


AEB systems use lasers, cameras or radar to detect an impending collision. It then gives the driver a warning. If he or she doesn’t take action, the car will brake automatically. Thatcham Research calls AEB the most significant development since the safety belt.


Well it is obvious really. This system is forward thinking in that it prevents collisions…especially the kind that involves a car driving in to the back of another. These types of crashes account for a quarter of all accidents. The other 3/4 is probably down to dumbass driving. Actually, all accidents are pretty much down to dumbass drivers. But I digress…


Well this is the thing, it is usually only found on the more premium cars and if it trickles down in to the more budget friendly bunch, it usually costs extra. But it is worth the extra money I’d say. If you opt for something like a sunroof or cool mags over your safety, you’re being a dumbass. Until you have the system, and even if you do already have it, keep vigilant at all times. Don’t become too complacent. Keep your eyes on the road, I am not even going to mention texting and driving!

But isn’t it good to know that there are systems out there that could potentially reduce the amount of carnage happening on our roads daily? We are still a way off from fully autonomous driving and this just brings about some peace of mind that we are headed in the right direction.


  • Adaptive Cruise Control ACC: unlike standard cruise control, this uses radar or cameras to maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front
  • Reverse AEB: if you are about to reverse into a moving car or a pedestrian, this warns you and brakes automatically if there is no response
  • Blind Spot Indication System BLIS: helps if you are about to move into the path of an overtaking vehicle, hidden in a blind spot
  • Cyclist or Pedestrian AEB: a more sensitive AEB that can detect cyclists, pedestrians and some animals
  • Lane Keep Assist LKA: uses a front-facing camera to track lane markings, it automatically corrects your steering if you stray into another lane
  • Autonomous Emergency Steering: currently under development, it automatically steers you away from another car that is on track to hit your vehicle

source: BBC

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