The other day when my old Suburban was in the shop I had to rent a Suburban to travel out of town. I think I had heard the old warning about don’t ever rent a new version of your car because you will want to buy one; but, if I ever heard that, I ignored it.
And I rented a 2015 Suburban loaded out. It made my 2005 Suburban with the 200,000 miles on it feel ancient.
I mean this truck had some amazing comfort features but, what I want to tell you about, is the new fangled safety features that it had. I know safety features aren’t as sexy as all the USB portals and charging stations on this thing, but the most important thing to me in my life, after my faith, is my family. These new safety devices can help keep one’s family safer.
For instance, if you stray from your lane over to the right, the right side of your driver seat begins to vibrate gently. Seriously. When you stray to your left side the left side of your seat vibrates. And when you’re backing into a spot (as shown on the rear facing camera) you guessed it, the rear of your seat begins to vibrate as you approach a wall.
Not to mention the rear camera has guidelines to show you how you’re backing into the spot and if you’re going wide left wide or right. I promise you field goal kickers would love this type of grid projected onto the goalposts.
At any rate, the lane departure warning system is a wonderful invention especially for distracted drivers. I know that we’d all like distracted drivers to just pay attention to the road, but if not, maybe that vibration in their nether regions will wake them up before they cross the line and hit us head on. As an injury attorney, I represent people injured as a result of the distracted drivers quite frequently.
There are other safety features that have become more commonplace in newer cars. Seatbelts can be adapted to the weight and size of the person. Headlights can sense where other cars are and automatically dim and brighten. Airbags are not just for your steering wheel anymore. Airbags appear in side curtain formats as well as the sides of seat to prevent passengers from banging together.
In addition the front bumpers are often equipped with sonar so that they can sense the distance that you are behind a vehicle relative to your speed. Some will send you a warning that you are too close.
Importantly for the most common type of collision, the rear ender, there are now sensors that will even apply your brake for you if you were about to rear end a car.
I’m not sure how many years away we are from the self driving car that we saw in the movie “I, Robot” but we might be a lot closer than we think.
In the meantime, drive safely over the holidays, even if you have to do it yourself.
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