Well ok, this is kind of a different subject, and probably not the most obvious to some. But I'll guarantee some of us will be a little bit more informed, folks might even feel safer when they drive to work tomorrow. Whether you're the consumer or an automotive sales consultant, this article will list a dozen important safety features found on every car on the road. The consumer can benefit knowing what's on today's automobiles, just in case he/she meets the salesman who is not the most educated on their product knowledge. And lastly, sales consultants can enhance their presentations with these tasty tid-bits and increase potential commissions. So without fail, here are the main safety features found on the exterior of those cars.
#1-crumple zones-A mainstay in todays automobiles, this is the harmonic flow of numerous body panels and brackets that absorb the energy normally associated with a crash. Parts like the hood, bumper and fenders are engineered to crumple like an accordion, therefore taking the brunt in any accidental situations.
#2-Wraparound Headlights-Just like its name implies, it's a one piece headlight design that integrates the low beam, high beam, and turn signals. The headlights wrap around from the front or back of the car to the sides. Not only are the halogen headlights brighter and wider with the use of reflective cuts in the chamber, but folks driving along our blind spots can easily know our lane changing intentions. As a result, causing less accidents.
#3-Breakaway Motor Mounts-These mounts attach the engine to the frame of the car. They're not noticeable, but the life saving impact is huge. In a front impact collision, they're specifically designed to break the engine away from the frame and with the forward motion, will make the engine slide underneath the car at a 45 degree angle. Making it less likely to have an engine sitting in your lap when the crash comes to a halt.
#4-steel belted radials-It's pretty obvious, our tires are very important safety features, it is what keeps the car on the road. Tires are built with steel fibers built right in, how do they help? Well, motorists will have the peace of mind that their tires will hold up in even the most extreme conditions. Those belts will also give these tires a longer lasting life span. Less maintenance in the long run.
#5-ventilated disc brakes-Equally important as the tires are, disc brakes stop the car. Brakes are constructed of a rotor, pads, and calipers for short. The rotors are engineered with internal vanes, to help vent out the heat. And this will help defend against fade and making it less likely to repair the brakes often.
#6-Side Impact Door Beams-Like the crumple zones, this aids in absorbing energy in a side impact collision. They are steel intrusion beams built inside the door for extra reinforcement. Every car and truck have these.
#7-Laminated Windshield-This might be important, it is the very object that keeps bugs out of our teeth, and the rain out of our hair. The windshield is made up of two pieces of tempered glass with a laminate sheet in between. This is a glass sandwich that holds together well when sharp or heavy objects smash into it. There's no shattering or large pieces of glass flying about.
#8-Tempered Safety Glass-The other glass that gives us 360 degrees of protection is also designed with safety in mind. Automotive glass is heat tempered, so that when it breaks, it shatters into a multitude of small cubes. The small cubes won't cut or injure the occupants.
#9-Child Safety Door Locks-As this name indicates, they are small locks in the inside door jams of the rear two doors(4 door sedan or suv only). Lock them up and the little guys in the back seat can't unlock and pull the inside door handles while we are driving.
#10-5 mph bumpers-I would classify this as a safety item for the car itself. In the event a driver lightly hits a lightpole, grocery cart, etc. at 5mph or under, it is unlikely there will be any major structural damage. These days, the government mandated limit to follow is 2.5 mph, most automakers have the 5 mph variety.
#11-Center High Mounted Brake Light-It's actually just a 3rd brake light mounted higher than the two main brake lights, and most autos have them. They're main purpose is to make drivers behind the motorist aware of their braking intentions, normally cars 6-10 back can see this clearly.
#12-Safety Cage Construction-Think of a built in rollcage, it's the main exo-skeletal feature that provides the most protection. In every accidental situation, this protects 360 degrees. We can even literally turn a car or truck upside down on its roof, the cage will support 1.5x it's own weight. There's nothing more important.
Hence, there is our short list of safety features, hopefully you readers have a use for this information. And maybe, this will put more awareness at just how safe our cars really are. No longer will we pinpoint safety as just airbags and alarm systems, our daily drivers have been designed as intricately as the human body. All this for making our commutes, a safer one.
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Shaun Davidson-Automotive and Finance Consultant-2008