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What makes a ‘safe’ car in 2018?Back

There are many safety features in new cars which class them as ‘safe’ cars to drive, but for those of us who aren’t in the know, exactly what makes for a safe car?

A five-star Euro NCAP rating is one way of guaranteeing drivers they are buying a pretty safe car, but some cars are still safer than others.  Thatcham Research has revealed a short list of 10 cars which it believes push the boundaries of safety and go above and beyond the Euro NCAP star ratings.

Take a look below at some of the latest safety features to look for when purchasing a new car. Lane Keep Assist and AEB are now required as standard fit in all new cars, but to ensure your car is as safe as it can be, there are many more systems to look out for.

Standard-fit Lane Keep Assist

This year, one of the safety requirements for all new cars is to ensure Lane Keep Assist is fitted as standard. This mechanism is installed to help avoid some of the most dangerous collisions on UK roads. Drivers will be warned if they begin to stray into another lane and will be gently steered back.

Standard-fit Autonomous Emergency Braking systems (AEB)

Another safety requirement this year is standard fit AEB, a safety technology that will take into account the traffic conditions ahead and will automatically apply the brakes if the driver fails to respond to these conditions. It is estimated that AEB could save as many as 1,100 lives and 122,860 casualties in the UK over the next 10 years. In addition, some vehicles may also sport the latest AEB systems capable of detecting cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

As with AEB, ACC can use cameras, radar or lidar to work out the distance between your car and the vehicle in front. Adaptive systems use the radar (or sometimes camera) to maintain a safe following distance, regardless of the speed set. Drivers that use ACC have been shown to have fewer collisions as drivers are reminded to maintain a safe distance to the car in front.

Blind Spot Indication System (BLIS)

BLIS is designed to stop drivers from moving into the path of an overtaking vehicle that is hidden in their blind spot. It uses radar, to sense the presence of another vehicle including motorcycles and will give a visual or audible warning – usually a light in the wing mirror or door pillar – to alert the driver. Some systems will even intervene by braking or steering back into lane.

AEB for cyclists

The smaller size and more erratic movement of cyclists makes them harder to be picked up on a standard AEB system, so cars are now being recognised for having AEB that uses better sensors and algorithms to detect the presence of cyclists and respond to their movements. Vulnerable road users, including cyclists, account for 30 per cent of all fatalities and serious injuries in the EU each year, which is why the performance of AEB systems in detecting cyclists is being brought into Euro NCAP testing from 2018.

Driver Monitoring

Some cars now have systems installed which can monitor and warn the driver if they are distracted or have been inattentive for a prolonged period. Some systems will even pull the car over to the side of the road if the driver has not responded.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert

This system is designed to monitor a vehicle approaching from the side and warns the driver or applies the brakes to prevent them from reversing from a parking space into the path of another vehicle.

Thatcham’s Top 10 Safest Cars of 2017:

Honda Civic

Mercedes X-Class

Subaru Impreza

Subaru XV

Toyota C-HR

Vauxhall Insignia

Volvo S90 / V90

Volvo XC60

VW Arteon

VW T-Roc

Posted by Leana Kell on 15/12/2017