We are into the summer months, and many families want to go on vacation. The main problem with that is the coronavirus. Because it is still raging, flying is dangerous, so more families are taking driving holidays across the country.
You might be taking the kids to see your relatives, along with your spouse or partner. Maybe you’re going camping or to a national park. Perhaps you’re even daring enough to hit an amusement park wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
You know that an injury to yourself or a family member can occur if you get in a car accident. But did you know that some car safety features can hurt you?
Airbags deployment takes only about 0.016 of a second. That’s faster than you can even see what is happening. In many cases, an airbag can save you from serious injuries.
The issue is that they can harm you as well. For instance, airbag deployment can result in:
- Facial cuts
- Sprained wrists or fingers
You might be thinking that if this is accurate, then it’s crazy that car manufacturers put airbags in vehicles. Why do they do it?
The answer is that even though injury sometimes occurs with airbag deployment, they still save lives. If there is a violent collision and the airbag deploys, you might get whiplash, but it might prevent a more catastrophic injury.
Automatic Braking Systems
If you have a newer car, then it might come with automatic braking. This feature comes in handy if:
- A vehicle in front of you stops suddenly
- An animal runs across the road
- There is an obstacle in the street ahead
You might not have the ability to stop in time if you are not paying close attention. The worry is that these systems sometimes deploy very suddenly. If yours does, you may not be expecting it, and you might overcompensate or take extreme action.
It’s ironic if you think about it. This safety feature takes your car’s control away from you momentarily. It’s there to help you, but if it snatches your control away when you’re not ready for it, you might swerve into a nearby car, concrete highway barrier, etc. before you realize what’s happening.
When seat belts first arrived, many people didn’t trust them. Some even cut them out of their cars. Over time, people got used to them, and now most individuals buckle their seatbelts without even thinking about it.
Like airbags, though, seat belts can hurt passengers in crash situations. It happens because they tighten too much with sudden impact.
In extreme cases, they might cause internal organ damage. Broken bones or contusions are also possible.
Like airbags, it’s better to have them than not to, because, without a seat belt, you’ll go straight through the windshield in a head-on collision. Just be aware that these injuries can occur.
The best thing to do is to not wear the belt with any slack. Sit upright against the seat, and make sure any kids you have in the car do the same.
Blind Spot Warning Systems
The blind spot warning feature is another newer-model car addition. This is a dashboard light that comes on if there is a car in your blind spot, and you’re about to change lanes. Other ones cause seat vibration, or you might hear a noise.
In theory, there’s nothing wrong with these systems. The only issue is if you’re becoming too dependent on them. If you stop checking your blind spot and rely on the seat vibrating or the noise the car makes, then an accident might occur if the system malfunctions.
The solution here is always to check your blind spot before you switch lanes, regardless of whether the warning system works. These are useful car additions, but you’re better off staying in the habit of blind-spot checking. Any driving instructor would tell you the same thing.
As you hit the road this summer for some well-deserved vacation time, it might rekindle your driving affinity. You might have cabin fever from being inside for months, and this time with the other family members should be relaxing. You can take some time to talk, listen to music, or play games.
It’s not likely that any of the safety features we mentioned will hurt you, but if they do, the harm they inflict will undoubtedly not be as bad as if they weren’t there.