I am very excited to share this piece on the advancement of automotive safety with you. One of the reasons I buy new cars so frequently is because I want to stay current with the technology available to consumers. You’re probably thinking this is really difficult to do and it certainly is. New tech is introduced almost monthly so it is almost impossible to stay ahead of the game.

Safety at this point is so much more than seat belts and front airbags. We now have cars coming standard with as few as 12 airbags and other safety innovations. I want to take a few minutes to discuss my favorite latest feature.

Forward Collision Warning (FCW)

Forward collision warning is probably exactly what you are thinking it is. On cars equipped with FCW, there is a camera inconspicuously placed in the front of the vehicle (most times the grille). While the vehicle is in motion, the camera is continually monitoring the front of the vehicle. If the vehicle senses you are closing in on a another vehicle or object too quickly, it could do the following things. Sound an alarm, shake your seat, or flash a visual prompt alerting you to the impending accident. In Alec (my Jeep Grand Cherokee), an alarm sounds which mutes the music and a big BRAKE in red font flashes on my TFT screen in the instrument cluster.

At this point, the brakes are being primed for maximum stopping power. If you do not apply the brakes, the vehicle will intervene and apply breaking force for you to mitigate the accident. It may not stop you completely or in enough time to avoid the accident. The system is designed to lessen impact which I feel is better than colliding at full force. If you do apply the brake, the car supplies the maximum breaking force required to prevent the accident from occurring or lightens the impact.

These safety features are usually available options on most vehicles but I feel that this technology will be made standard in the coming years. If you choose to allow this technology to protect you, I encourage you to contact your insurance company for possible discounts. Be sure you mention any safety features your vehicle has to ensure you score all discounts that could be applicable to you.

I’ll be reviewing other advancements in safety soon along with a video demonstration in future blogs.