Dramatic innovations in automotive safety have come out on the market in recent years. Electronic stability control systems, active headlights, and anti-collision technology are standard features on many 2012 vehicles.
According to new rules established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), all new passenger vehicles are required to have an electronic stability control (ESC) system after 2012. NHTSA estimates that this technology will reduce single-vehicle accidents by 34 percent and will reduce single-vehicle SUV rollovers by 59 percent. This feature will save between 5,000 and 9,000 lives and will prevent roughly 200,000 injuries annually.
Consumers can anticipate more high-tech vehicles that are equipped with blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, and anti-collision technology. Volvo, an undisputed leader in safety for the past 30 years, is continuing its legacy by unveiling a range of advanced collision avoidance features in the luxurious XC60 crossover SUV and S-series sedans. In May 2012, the manufacturer announced that it would be establishing a new Active Safety Test Area (ASTA) at their research and development center in Hällered, Sweden. This safety testing center will be fully operational by 2014.
Several of the company’s 2012 models are already equipped with an industry-leading collision avoidance system, known as City Safety and Pedestrian Detection. This particular system activates the brakes when any obstruction is detected. According to Adam Kopstein, the Volvo safety manager in North America, this system can mitigate damage associated with low-speed crashes. Volvo representatives estimate that roughly 75 percent of all crashes occur at speeds less than 18 miles per hour.
In 2010, Volvo introduced a proprietary Pedestrian Detection system that uses auto braking technology. Today, Volvo has launched a comprehensive pedestrian airbag system that is available on the company’s V40 sedan. This system prevents pedestrian injuries and fatalities by inflating an airbag under the hood, which can soften the impact. The system will be marketed heavily to customers in China, Europe, and the United States. As the automotive industry moves into the 21st century, consumers can expect to see many more innovative safety features.
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