A Guide to Safety Features on Today’s Modern Vehicles

A Guide to Safety Features on Today’s Modern Vehicles

Written by DriveAxis.ca April 05, 2023

Car safety certainly has come a long way from an era when seat belts were considered optional. These days, it’s a number one priority that car manufacturers are taking into account when building each new model. At the same time, technology has accelerated to the point where even greater safety features are now considered standard in most car makes and models.

This is a good thing, and it’ll only get better as time goes by. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, it pays to know what to expect from today’s car safety features and technologies, all of which work in harmony to create a smoother and safer driving experience. That’s great news for you, your loved ones, as well as others who share the road.


Most drivers are already aware that vehicles must include mandatory safety features in order to pass stringent checks, before they are allowed to be sold. Obviously, the seat belt is number one, and although the design hasn’t changed all that much, there have been several refinements to the feature that have drastically reduced injuries, both minor and major.

The next standard safety feature on the list is the airbag, which is credited with saving many lives, especially in the wake of a head-on collision. While first implemented largely on the driver’s side, airbags have since been implemented in several different spots around a car’s interior cabin to help protect against injuries associated with other accident types.

Child seat tethers are another safety mechanism made mandatory under Canadian law, and are designed to allow for child seats to be attached to said tethers in order to properly secure the seat.


In the old days, braking was something of a hit-or-miss affair, and the technology didn’t exist that would allow for the kinds of safe braking maneuvers we see today. That all changed with the invention of the anti-lock braking system (ABS), which automatically pumps the brakes in order to generate traction and prevent the vehicle from sliding out of control. Experienced drivers already know the benefits of this technique, but ABS takes the guesswork out of the equation, which can mitigate lack of response when the driver’s panic response is triggered.

Traction control is a similar technology that often works hand-in-hand with ABS, and can sometimes be considered as part of the same system. It works by applying braking to the wheel(s) that most need it during skidding, which can help the driver regain a portion of control. It can also be of assistance in severe weather, such as winter storms where ice can accumulate on the ground. Neither of these systems are guaranteed to prevent an accident, but they can drastically reduce the chances, since they give the driver more options when it comes to steering and control.


For a long time, the backup camera was considered something of a luxury item, or a third-party do-it-yourself add on. Those days are over, and the backup camera is now here to stay. It’s widely considered to be a standard-issue safety feature in practically all of today’s vehicles, and for good reason. Backup cameras eliminate the need to physically look over your shoulder when backing out of your driveway, a parking lot, or similar environment.

Even the most skilled drivers still need to deal with blind spots and rear window visibility when backing up, which is why the camera is so important. On top of providing accurate guides through which the driver can navigate their vehicle with precision, it also comes with extra features like proximity warning alarms to prevent accidental bumps and scrapes.


While not necessary - at least in theory - there are a number of safety features and technologies that are now considered invaluable for drivers. They also help enhance the allure of a particular vehicle, given that safety is such a valued aspect of the car-buying experience.

For instance, tire pressure monitoring (TPMS) is an excellent way to keep track of the pressure in each of your car’s tires, and alert you once it has dropped below the acceptable threshold. This prevents you from driving around on tires that are inflated too little, or too much. Either one can become a safety issue if left unchecked for long periods of time. This feature also prevents uneven and accelerated tire wear, since optimal pressure is vital to maintaining their lifespan.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is another optional safety feature that allows for safe cruising on highways, without worrying about the vehicle in front of you. The system utilizes sensors to automatically detect objects in front of the vehicle, and calculate deceleration in real time, even when cruise control is turned on. You may have your cruise control set to a particular speed, but if there’s risk of a collision, the system will throttle the car down until the obstruction has cleared (i.e. - a car changes lanes).

Another variation of this system is the traditional collision warning system, which will provide an audible alert in case you are accelerating too fast towards the vehicle in front of you. If the system determines that you won’t have enough time to stop or decelerate on your own, it will perform the task for you. The technology has since been expanded to include pedestrians and cyclists, as well as similar scenarios when backing up.

There are also a popular assortment of road assist technologies that can help keep you safe, especially if your vehicle happens to have a problematic blind spot. Lane departure warning systems will alert you if you start drifting out of your lane, or whether you’re at risk of hitting another vehicle during a lane change, while lane centering will automatically adjust power steering to maintain position within your respective lane.

Technologies often working in tandem with these systems include blind spot monitoring (BSM) and rest cross-traffic alert (RCTA) systems, which provide visual and audible warnings that help prevent you from hitting anything outside of your natural field of vision. And finally, there are systems like high-beam headlight assist, which automatically turn on high beams to improve visibility on dark roads, and driver attention monitoring systems, which utilize multiple different technologies to determine if a driver is falling asleep at the wheel, and may require a rest.


While none of these technologies are a substitute for careful common sense driving, they are absolutely beneficial when it comes to helping you avoid an accident. Use them together with your own driving sense, but never allow yourself to become too dependent on any one of them. If one of these safety mechanisms goes down, you’ll have to fall back on your own intuition until you can get the problem fixed. Thankfully, today’s car safety systems are built to rigorous high standards, which should prevent this from happening.

Even today’s pre-owned vehicles come with loads of safety features and technologies mentioned in this article. If you’re ready to buy a pre-owned vehicle, contact DriveAxis today, and we’ll help you choose one that comes with many of these packages already integrated. In addition, every one of our cars comes with a rigorous 300-point safety inspection, which means you can drive away feeling safe and confident, no matter which car you choose!

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