Car makers and law makers have been working together for many years to make some improvements on our cars so that we will have a safer driving experience. In the past some of these measures weren’t that necessary. When the Model T first came out it had a top speed of 30 miles an hour. Combine that with the idea that there weren’t as many buildings and a smaller population and it made it much easier to stay out-of-the-way of one of those guys kicking up dust. Nowadays cars can speed up to 120 MPH and even faster. Granted that will never be legal in the US, however these cars still have that capability. How else have cars progressed since then, heck, even since the 80’s?



seat belt

I remember riding around in a 1978 Dodge Aspen. Boy that was a great car. Slant 6 Engine, all metal, that thing was a tank. I went through two accidents in that car (I wasn’t driving either time) and ended without a scratch on me. I did however get thrown around a bit due to the fact that I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Now they are required by law and come standard on all cars. It is nice to see that since they determined that lap-belts alone were not sufficient enough and could cause paralysis, there are shoulder harness straps on most if not all cars these days.  This has been a huge transition since the days of the long bench in the front seat where you throw all the kids in the middle and go for a cross-country vacation. The rules have also become more strict about child safety seats, therefore making it more important to fully prep your car before bringing in the little one.  Now it is estimated that over 13,000 lives have been saved each year by the use of seatbelts. It has not only been a great safety feature, it has been implemented into law in many of the United States. Another 7,000 lives could be saved each year if people would continue to wear their seatbelts. A wrinkled shirt is a small price to pay to arrive home safely to your family.


Airbagsair bag

Airbags have been around for many years. In fact, they were invented back in the 50’s but didn’t make their way into cars until 1974. They  became an optional feature on high-end cars in 1981 when Mercedes-Benz opened the door to them. So many new rules surround babies and kids these days due to the invention of the airbags. This safety feature has saved many lives, but has been found to be very dangerous to little children. That is why they are to remain in the back seat until they are 12 in some places, and 13 in most cases. This is to make sure they are the right height and weight to withstand the shocking power of the safety bag.


Back-up Camera

This is an amazing feature that has been added to most cars and is becoming far more popular. To be honest, it was the invention of the in-dash DVD player that gave rise to the popularity of this feature. When people started using these DVD players they began to realize all the other features they could include by making the dashboard a multimedia experience. Now many of the menus that run your car, including air conditioning, stereo and  car maintenance features are all located in the same spot. If your car did not come with one install I highly suggest it. Blind spots can be as much as 13 to 55 feet in the rear part of that car making it very dangerous for small kids and hidden objects. By installing one of these cameras you can improve your chances of being a safe driver and reduce the amount of collisions throughout the world.  If a car does not come with one previously installed, the Amazon Marketplace has a variety of options that you can install yourself to offer a safer driving experience for all.


Adaptive Cruise Control

This is a new feature for me. Cruise control has actually been around since 1910 and we know and love it as a way to take our foot off the pedal and relax a bit while on those long trips. The inventors James Watt and Matthew Boulton created this device even earlier to help keep up the speed of steam engines. Little did they know the impact that it would have on the modern world. In 1958 a new type of speed control was implemented into an Imperial known as Auto-pilot.  Now they have features inside the cruise control mechanism that will not only adjust your speed so that you remain constant, they also have installed sensors which will alert you when you are not maintaining a safe distance from drivers in front of you. This prevents tailgating other drivers and minimizes the risk of accidents.


Tire Pressure Monitoring and Skid Alerts

Since 2008, the government has regulated that all cars be equipped with tire –pressure monitoring systems. This allows the driver to be alerted when their pressure becomes low or imbalanced. With so many blowouts on the road today, this gives the person in the driver seat the opportunity to be alerted beforehand that their pressure is low so that they may take necessary precautions and avoid any future conflicts due to blow outs.  These days all cars less than 10,000 pounds have these devices installed due to government regulation.  Another feature added to the list (actually making it 6) is another alert button on the dash. When the tires begin to lose traction on the street (such as during a storm or oil slick on the road) a light will appear that will let the driver know that they have lost control of one or more of their wheels. This gives them a chance to release the gas pedal and gives them a chance to react sooner in order to prevent skidding. Hydro-planing has caused a bit of accidents and this feature now hopes to cut down the number of issues with tires that lose their grip.