Don’t look now, but your car is quickly becoming smarter than you. And that’s a good thing.
Forbes.com auto expert and author Jim Gorzelany compiled a list of the safest cars and why they are the safest. Hint: Safest equals smartest. And on the road, it isn’t only the quick that can avoid auto accidents, — it’s the smartest. Sometimes, reflexes don’t respond as well as you need them to in an emergency. Never fear. There’s a car that can take over that side of your brain.
“All the cars in our Safest Cars list either come standard with or offer as optional equipment three systems which are fast becoming available in mainstream models, namely blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems and collision warning and avoidance systems,” writes Gorzelany.
The Five Safest Cars for 2012:
- Volvo S60, S80 & XC60
- Audi A6
- Infiniti: M37, M56 & EX35
- BMW 5 Series
- Mercedes E & M Class
Here’s why: Broken down, each car model offers the driver a bit of advanced brainpower. For example, blind-spot warning utilizes a set of sensors/cameras that detect other cars just to the side and rear of a vehicle and alerts the driver to their otherwise unseen presence. Lane departure warning helps keep inattentive drivers from inadvertently veering into another lane of traffic and causing a collision, which the National Traffic Safety Administration says accounts for 17 percent of all vehicle crashes.
Collision warning and avoidance are another smart system that works with an advanced version of cruise control, using sonar sensors to maintain both a set speed and distance from the nearest car. If the sensors determine the vehicle is closing in on another car or other obstruction in its path too quickly – say the driver is busy opening the coffee lid or texting and isn’t paying attention – it will engage audible and visual alerts, tension to the safety belts and pre-prime the brakes to full force in anticipation of an emergency stop.
There are countless other safety features that qualify these cars as the safest cars on the road, which can help you to avoid auto accidents all together. If you are looking for a safe car for yourself, your wife or your kids, these five are proven to be the safest cars on the road for 2012. When it comes to your reflexes versus your cars’ reflexes, sometimes it’s helpful to have both headed in the right direction.