How Your Car Keeps You Safe
Times have changed since some of us first got our licenses and our very first car. At 16, some of us took our mobile friends to the workforce, others to the garage, and some thrive on skipping school.
Whatever the case was, we were also taught to check the brakes, or the fluid levels, or some other mind-numbing maintenance that seemed to make no sense at the time.
Fast-forward twenty years and every word your parents told you about driving were applicable and you may have even shared some of that same information with your little ones. Cars have become safer and safer as the years have passed.
Manufacturers are forced to stay in competition with one another for the title of the safest vehicle. Each come standardly loaded down with everything but… I wasn’t going to say it, but no the kitchen sink is not included.
In this multi-part guide, we are going to explore several safety features that keep you and your family safe and out of harm’s way.
Anti-lock Braking System
Generally, referred to as just brakes, the first set of ABS brakes first hit the market in 1966 with the production of the Jensen FF. The first design was elementary and rough around the edges, but later improvements were made when the 1978 Mercedes W-116 was produced.
The new Mercedes brought the advancement of the sophisticatedly elegant electronic ABS. Several years later, other carmakers noticed the tech and started including it as an industry-wide standard.
The principle behind brakes is: you stomp the pedal and your car’s wheels lock up. During this lock, wheels lose traction causing them to lift up, wheels become unresponsive, and your chances of an accident increase because you have no control.
The concept of ABS brakes is a series of rapid constrictions by your brakes, allowing wheels to stay grounded and keeps you in control of sticky situations.
When slamming on the brakes of a car with ABS brakes, just by pressing the pedal your car will tighten and release the brakes more than 15 times within a single second. This helps maintain control over steering.
This causes the car to stop in a more controlled and responsive manner when braking heavily.
Surely, if you managed to navigate this far, then you know what the seatbelts in your car are used for. But, did you know your seatbelt system is equipped with a loaded bomb?
Well, it isn’t a bomb you can just detonate, it actually rests inside of your seatbelt storage compartment and is more useful than you may think.
If you’ve got updated auto repair manuals, then you may be able to find a section discussing this, but your pretensioners are actually explosives lurking in the dark. Ready to activate without notice.
In reality, what happens in the event of an auto accident; your car detects swift deceleration and fires off the explosives in the pretensioners. This happens within a split second.
The strong pistons activated by the blast, work to tighten the seatbelt across your chest and legs.
This is to prevent you some slide loose and flying out of the car or can keep you from taking a mouth full of dashboard.
Yeah, just when you though having one bomb in your car was crazy, turns out, your car is a minefield of small explosive devices ready to save your life in the blink of an eye.
With a multitude of analytical sensors and accelerometers, your car is equipped to inflate airbags within a matter of milliseconds. These explosions release nitrogen or argon (a harmless gas) into the bags to inflate them instantly.
There was a time when cars only came with an airbag stuffed inside the steering wheel and maybe one on the passenger’s dashboard. If they were lucky enough. Now, newer models are coming with upwards of 10 airbags in a single vehicle. Literally, you can be protected from every angle, ensuring your survival. Thank you carmakers for building bombs in my car to keep me safe. My family appreciates it!
Electronic Brake Force Distribution
A trusted and reliable friend to your ABS brakes, the EBD, long-handily referred to as Electronic Brake Force Distribution.
This works hand in hand with your anti-lock brakes during hard braking to access the amount of force being applied to each wheel and adjust accordingly to maintain stability and control to safely decelerate during times of impending doom.
This is beneficial, as it keeps the car from spinning out and losing control, causing the driver to swerve or veer from the road. Oftentimes the car can exert an extra braking force on the rear wheels until the weight is shifted to the front when it will then apply most of the braking force.
In the event your car feels you are braking too hard during an emergency, your brake assist will engage to increase both brake pressure, and speed at which the brakes are engaged.
This is a placeholder to assist in emergency braking until your Anti-locking brake system kicks in and takes over.
Your Auto Repair Manuals Closure on Car Safety Features
Your car has many features that are put there to protect you. They monitor speed, render high-speed turns into controllable swerves, and can even turn your cab into a roll cage of doom.
Not all of the features that are in play allow for negligence of the road and its rules. Know how your car works to protect you and stay tuned for the second part of this comprehensive rundown of standard car safety features.