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What if cars not only protected us in a collision, but cars also helped us avoid crashes altogether?

We know that over the years, automobile manufacturers have designed cars to lessen the risk of serious injury when there is a collision. Examples of auto safety include seatbelts, airbags, and safety bumpers.

Collision avoidance technology is the “next frontier” in auto safety. More and more cars are beginning to incorporate this technology, which improves auto safety.

So what, exactly, does "collision avoidance technology" mean? There are a few different features that are being put into some new cars, but all of them are about technology that allows the car to detect safety issues on the road and then either automatically adjust driving or alert the driver to risks.

Adaptive cruise control is one example. In addition to the regular cruise control features, adaptive cruise control includes radar sensors to monitor the traffic ahead of you and adjust your car’s speed in order to maintain a safe following distance.

Those same radar sensors might trigger other responses as well. If you are getting too close to a car in front of you, your car may either sound alarms, flash warnings, or else the brakes may automatically start to slow your car. With this monitoring system, your car may also automatically put crash safety features on “high alert” by tightening seat-belts, adjusting headrests and/or closing windows.

Installing cameras or other radar detection systems in some new cars is also part of collision avoidance technology which may sound alarms and/or flash warnings which alert the driver to potentially hidden objects. The cameras or other radar detection systems may also warn you to not veer out of your lane by sounding an alarm or making the steering wheel vibrate.

Some of this new technology is starting to appear in some luxury cars as well as more economical cars, like the Ford Taurus and the Dodge Charger.

If said technology is offered as an option on a car you are interested in purchasing, definitely get it. If you are looking at two different cars — one which has the collision avoidance technology and one that does not have said new technology — I strongly urge you to get the car with the collision avoidance technology.

This new collision avoidance technology is a significant step for auto safety. What’s true in medicine is also true in auto safety: Prevention is better than a cure.

If collision avoidance technology can help drivers avoid collisions, then everyone is better off.

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