Five Top Vehicle Safety Features and How They Change the Way You Drive

Since the invention of the three-point seatbelt or Bela Barenyi’s crumple zone to enhance vehicle safety, safety technology has come a long way. Anti-lock braking systems, airbags and electronic stability control are now all mandatory for all cars sold within the UK, but what about other technologies that are designed to make the way you drive safer? This article looks at the top five safety features available in cars today and how they improve safety for you and other road users.

Adaptive Cruise ControlPhoto courtesy of Yash Savla via Unsplash

Referred to as Distronic Plus by Mercedes Benz, adaptive cruise control systems use forward sensor technologies to maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead, up to a chosen maximum speed.

Not only helpful on motorways, adaptive cruise control aids drivers in heavy stop-start traffic too, slowing your car when the one in front reduces its speed and speeding up again when it’s safe to do so.


Lane Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist

While a common feature for prestige vehicles such as Mercedes-Benz for some time, Lane Assist can now be found in many other new cars. When you drift out of your motorway lane, an alert will be given in the form of a buzzing sound, vibrating seat or steering wheel so you can correct your course.

Active Lane Keeping Assist goes one step further and will gently adjust your steering if you wander and don’t respond to the vehicle’s alerts, making sure you hold your position when travelling at higher speeds.


Reverse Parking Assistance

Reverse parallel parking is arguably one of the more difficult driving manoeuvres.  However, reverse parking technology now makes this a breeze and can be found in many manufacturers’ models, including Mercedes-Benz.  At the touch of a button and a gentle depression of the accelerator, your car will reverse steer itself into the car parking space you’ve found; relegating parking dints and scrapes to history.


Rear Cross-traffic Assistance

Mercedes-Benz combines this feature with their blind spot assist so you get both together, along with autonomous braking if needed. Rear-cross traffic assist (and blind spot assist) relies on in-built sensors that monitor the area at the rear sides of your car and notify you with both visual and audible alerts if another car is coming.


Automatic Crash Response

When things do go wrong, time is often of the essence and the speed that emergency services are notified and able to reach the scene can be the difference between life and death. Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call has been included as standard in all models since September 2014 and enables precise details of the car’s location, travel direction and extent of the damage to be sent to an emergency services advisor at the touch of a button.

This feature has such a positive impact on the results of accidents that the EU voted for these systems to be made mandatory in all new cars from the 31st of March last year.


While each of these features is designed to enhance the safety of vehicles, it is important to understand how they work, and when they aren’t in operation. A study carried out by the American AAA Foundation and the University of Iowa found that as many as 80% of drivers relied on their vehicle safety and driver assistance packages a little too much – in some instances neglecting to carry out their own over the shoulder visual checks for motorcycles and pedestrians. The resulting report encouraged new car owners to read up on their car’s safety devices, ask their car dealers or car leasing company questions about these features, and make sure they understood the types of conditions they would and wouldn’t work in.

Our team at Mercedes on Lease are happy to answer any questions about the safety features of your Mercedes-Benz, or leasing conditions if you are considering leasing your next new car to access some of the latest safety technology available.

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