For younger Canadians out there it may be hard to believe, but not so long ago safety features we now take for granted, such as airbags and anti-lock brakes, were expensive options. Nearly four decades ago, when Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary was just starting out, vehicle safety information was scarce, which had the side effect of keeping car safety down the list of important features for most buyers when selecting a car.
Now we are in the Golden Age of car safety. Crash performance rankings matter. Companies compete on which has the best crash avoidance technology. Cars are coming equipped with cameras and sensor suites that are in some ways far more powerful than those used in Canada’s own Avro Arrow interceptor of the 1960s. The safety cages and the breakaway construction of modern cars are right out lessons learned from high performance racing. Features that were once optional, or only found standard on upscale models, such as electronic stability control, are now mandated on all new cars.
Today’s Vehicle Safety Options
The vehicle safety options of today are ever more exotic, such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic or assisted braking, blind spot sensors, lane departure alarms in rearview mirrors, back-up camera systems with graphical overlays, and blind spot detection alerts. This gives drivers the opportunity to take action that can help to avoid or mitigate a crash. Some systems will even intervene directly by braking automatically, or steering the vehicle away from danger.
Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary independently brokers the competing vehicle insurance products from as many as fifteen nationally recognised insurers for drivers throughout Alberta. All offer excellent rates for vehicles equipped with the latest crash avoidance and safety equipment because these have been statistically proven to save lives and reduce the severity of accidents.
Let’s briefly review a few of these technologies:
Forward Collision Warning and Avoidance
These types of systems are based on varied technologies. Some employ radar, others use lasers, and some are camera based. Whatever the sensor is (and they all have weather or lighting conditions pros and cons), they are tied into a computer system that is continuously evaluating the relative speed of your car and the one ahead of you. When the system’s distance or closing speed parameters are breached, an alert is sounded for the driver. In more sophisticated systems, the brakes are deployed, the seat belts pre-tensioned, and the airbag system primed for imminent discharge if the driver is distracted. This technology also double as the brains of adaptive cruise control, which slows the vehicle in response to slowing traffic ahead.
Lane Departure Warning and Avoidance
Nearly every lane departure warning system uses a camera dedicated to just one task: keeping an electronic eye on the road markings. These systems use processing software to determine how much lane deviation warrants an alert, and the smarter systems keep a vehicle centered in the lane, subject to manual override from the steering wheel.
Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
Brought to market by the safety innovators of Volvo, this technology has been either licensed or copied widely across the industry. Using either ultrasonic or radar based detection, a BSD system picks up other traffic approaching your left and right rear quarters, where you may have difficulty seeing them, and stays ready to alert until such traffic has pulled parallel to the driver or passenger side front doors. Typically, this alert is reflected into the side mirrors of the side detecting the traffic, when you begin to lane drift or change lanes towards that direction.
Contact Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary for a Vehicle Insurance Quote
Is your current insurer taking you good defensive driving habits for granted? The purchase of a new car is the perfect time to contact Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary for a review of your current automobile policy and to benefit from a free quote on automobile coverage.