So if you’re in the market for a new car, here are a few features to look for to help protect you and your precious cargo:
Handle With Care
Every driver knows the feeling of swerving to avoid an accident or skidding to a screeching stop. How well your car’s stability control system handles these situations could mean the difference between a safe outcome and an accident. Automakers like Lexus have designed systems such as their Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help enhance a vehicle’s handling, particularly when there’s a loss of traction control during a turn.
For example, the VSC in Lexus’ new RX works in tandem with Traction Control to sense the onset of a loss of traction in a turn and react immediately. Responding to input from sensors that analyze wheel speed and steering angle, it detects when a wheel may be spinning too fast and helps apply the right amount of brake pressure to the specific wheel that needs it, or reduces the throttle if necessary. In effect, it reacts to danger before you can.
To See or Not to See
Good visibility is a significant factor in preventing accidents. It’s no wonder that the auto industry has been focusing on headlamp innovations. Among the most advanced front lighting systems is Lexus’ available Adaptive Front Light System (AFS). When negotiating a turn, a driver’s eyesight naturally goes in the direction of the turn; but this isn’t where the typical headlamp casts its light. The automaker has addressed this issue by offering headlamps that rotate and cast more light in the direction of the turn. The system takes into consideration the car’s speed and position of the steering wheel to calculate up to a 15-degree rotation for the left headlamp and up to 5 degrees for the right headlamp in the direction it is turning.
Rain, Rain Go Away
The minute those rain drops pelt your windshield, know that your visibility will be immediately affected. An often underappreciated feature on any car, a good windshield wiper system can help ensure a safe trip during bad weather. Today, blades are made to last longer and do a better job cleaning your windshield, vastly improving visibility. So when buying a new car, try out the wiper blades and make sure they function properly and work at various speeds. Lexus has taken wiper blades one step further by developing an available rain-sensing system that detects and automatically responds when water drops accumulate on the windshield. On the RX 350, for example, a rain sensor located behind the rearview mirror detects the presence of rain on the windshield. When it senses moisture, the sensor activates the wiper blades at the appropriate speed. When the rain intensifies or diminishes, the sensor adjusts the wiper speed accordingly.
The Pressure’s On
According to a poll conducted by AAA, 85 percent of motorists do not know how to check their vehicle’s tire pressure. But the amount of tire pressure can greatly affect how your car grips the road. So over- or under-inflated tires can impact vehicle performance in acceleration, handling and braking, all the things that need to be at their peak to help avoid accidents. Make sure the car you’re looking for comes with a tire pressure system that is proactive. Sensors in each tire should constantly monitor the air pressure and transmit the information to the onboard system’s computer and alert the driver when pressure is critically low.
For more information about new car safety features and Lexus safety systems visit www.lexus.com.