Many automotive safety devices and technologies were first established in higher-end vehicles and then as they get cheaper to design and implement, they gradually become widespread in lower priced vehicles.
Anti lock brakes, airbags, traction controls, turbo charging, stability controls, are all examples that have worked their way down to moderate or even low priced vehicles.
With the advent of digital controls (computer) in automobiles, many devices have been added to your car to make your trip safer and more enjoyable.
Anti lock brakes:
Anti lock brakes (ABS) are one of the first safety gadgets introduced to vehicles. The function is to stop your wheel from locking up during hard or emergency braking. When a wheel locks up during braking, you lose traction, stability and control of steering, increasing the chance to go into a dangerous slide. In vehicles without ABS, pumping the brakes was used in hard stops, now the anti-lock brakes just put your brakes on as hard as you can and let the ABS take over. You may feel a pulsing on your brake pedal, this is normal.
Traction controls monitor wheel spin on hard acceleration. (No more “burning rubber or “smoking your tires”) When wheel spin occurs, it creates unsafe conditions that can cause vehicles to move in an undesirable direction. (Skid)
Traction controls work by limiting the amount of power going to the wheels by interfacing with engine controls.
Electronic Stability System:
Electronic stability systems monitor wheel speed and steering angle to the vehicles intended direction and is able to detect a vehicle in a skid or slide. When this is detected, the stability control will apply the brake to the inner rear wheel while controlling the power to the engine to bring the vehicle back into control. These are particularly important on SUV models which tend to be top heavy and at more apt to roll over. Stability systems are a wonderful addition to safety and saving lives.
All Wheel drive:
All wheel drive systems apply power to all four wheels and the advanced models have the ability to automatically divert to the wheels that have grip, and reduce the power from the wheels that slip. This system works very well in mud and snow. This system can make the difference of getting to where you want to go during winter conditions.
Turbo charging is a way to make smaller engines have more power for passing or going up hill. They use a “fan” or air pump to put more air and fuel into an engine to increase horsepower.
Air Bag Systems:
This system has sensors in a vehicle that will deploy air bags in case of an accident.
They are installed in front of you; to the side of you and even some vehicles have curtains that come out of the roof to the side you.
All of this is to protect your body in many different dangerous conditions that happen during a collision. Air bags save lives.
These enhancements make automobile ownership more enjoyable and safer.
- George Rode