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Safety Technologies

Airbag

Car accessories, designed for people safety count hundreds of electronic systems, various active and passive safety means and devices. Here is a review of the most famous ones:

Airbags

Airbags are designed to save your life in case of an accident. The airbag is a special bag made from a thin fabric, placed inside the steering wheel and other places in the car like in the passenger�s dashboard. The mechanism is based on car�s front-end pressure sensors. When the energy level inflicted during a crash reaches a certain measurement point, the sensors send the information to computer and it deploys the bags. Hot nitrogen is used to inflate the bag, quickly expanding and preventing your head and chest from touching powerfully the interior accessories hard materials. After that the gas escapes, allowing you to get out of the vehicle after the crash. New airbag designs can deploy in two stages, accordingly to the severity of the crash. Because of their great benefit to car safety, airbag presence in a new car is mandatory in the US, in Canada and in Europe.

Airbags are designed to supplement the protection provided by seat belts - they are not a substitute. The best protection in frontal crashes is achieved using a properly worn seat belt in combination with an airbag. There have been witnessed cases in which, due to an incorrect position in the car when the accident occurred, they did more harm than good. Such examples are not wearing a seatbelt or situating yours. If very close to the dashboard or steering wheel (the minimum distance from the steering wheel should be at least 10 or 12 inches).

Curtain airbags are designed to protect the driver's and passenger's heads in a crash. The curtain airbag activates instantaneously, deploying from the top of the door rails above the side window. They form a cushion between the driver or passenger and the window and stay in place if the car rolls over to protect their head.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC)

Adaptive cruise control is (or ACC) is a technologically advanced version of the conventional cruise control system. The innovation used a long radar sensor to control the speed of the moving car in accordance to the car detected within a safe distance. Some of the potential advantages of adaptive cruise control are to reduce accident rate, reduce driver's fatigue, and also increase fuel efficiency. ACC helps the driver to maintain the car speed in accordance to the traffic situations and also helps the driver to manage a pre-set distance behind the vehicle ahead by using the throttle and brakes. If in case the driver increases the car's speed, it automatically reduces the engine performance until a safe gap with other vehicles is restored.

If the system senses a potential collision, it typically will brake hard and tighten the seatbelts. Once it knows the lane is clear or traffic has sped up, it will return your car to its original cruising speed, all without your input. ACC technology is widely regarded as a key component of any future generations of smart cars. There are mainly 2 types of present day ACC systems:

1) Radar-based ACC features a Precrash system, which warns the driver and provides brake support if there is a high risk of a collision. Also in certain cars it is incorporated with a lane maintaining system which provides power steering assist to reduce steering input burden in corners when the cruise control system is activated. Its sensors can be hidden behind plastic fascias, for example, at Mercedes cars the radar is located behind the upper grille. 2) Laser-based systems are significantly lower in cost than radar-based systems. Laser-based sensors must be exposed, the sensor (a fairly-large black box) is typically found in the lower grille offset to one side of the vehicle. It does not detect and track vehicles well at tuff weather conditions or does not it track extremely dirty vehicles very well.

Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

Anti-lock brakes (ABS) is one of the most significant safety device against road injures. ABS helps reduce loss of traction in case of an emergency and also increases driver's ability to steer the car, shortening the braking time. The sensors sense out when the wheels are about to lock up and just before that it automatically reduces the speed of the wheel by releasing pressure on the brake, bringing the wheel to stop without experiencing any wheel locks. It prevents wheel lock up and eventually prevents skidding especially on wet roads. ABS pumps brakes automatically in case of a panic stop so that driver can concentrate more on the steering.

ABS only operates under heavy braking or on slippery surfaces. ABS has also been claimed to create a false sense of security in some drivers, who may drive more aggressively as a result, but a reduced level of braking in some other drivers when they feel the ABS pulsating. Recent versions not only prevent wheel lock under braking, but also electronically control the front-to-rear brake bias, working together with electronic brake-force distribution system, know as EBD.