Safety Equipment: Must-have Kit

  • Find out which kit could potentially save your life
  • We gaze into the future looking at the tech on its way to the UK
  • Plus we explore the importance of ISOFIX seats

Here's the low-down on tech that will save your life.

ABS and ESP

The safest car is one that helps you avoid an accident in the first place, and even the best driver’s benefit from Anti- lock brakes and Electronic Stability Programs. Allowing the driver to brake fully while  turning the wheel, and not upsetting the car’s balance or allowing it to skid, can be the difference between hitting an obstacle or missing it - literally the difference between life and death

TPMS

A flat, or near-flat, tyre can quickly result in complete failure, which can cause the car to skid out of control. A tyre pressure monitoring system isn’t a failsafe, but it will instantly warn of a loss of pressure to any individual wheel, allowing you to pull over safely and check it.

ISOFIX

ISOFIX

It used to be a difficult job to mount a child seat correctly, but Isofix has made it a simple clunk-click affair. The industry standard fitting means every car with Isofix has permanent and solid mounting points matched to those on the child seat, so it’s almost imposible not to mount it correctly.

It used to be a difficult job to mount a child seat correctly, but Isofix has made it a simple clunk-click affair. The industry standard fitting means every car with Isofix has permanent and solid mounting points matched to those on the child seat, so it’s almost imposible not to mount it correctly.

Airbags

In basic terms the more airbags the better, and most cars come with driver and passenger airbags as standard with head and side bags as an option.

Automatic Lights/Wipers

It should be an easy task but more and more people manage to forget to turn their lights on when it gets dark  - but now the car does it all for you. They also automatically activate in tunnels or other suddenly dark spaces. Auto wipers mean that even in the onset of a sudden downpour the windscreen wipers will automatically react and clear the screen, leaving you free to concentrate on the actual driving.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth Connectivity

Distractions behind  the wheel are one of the biggest causes of accidents, and in the UK talking or even handling a mobile  phone while  on the move is illegal. You could buy a separate Bluetooth headset, but sound quality can be patchy, and when built in systems are available it would make sense to try to find one with the system already fitted.

The Future

Cars like BMW's i3 come with innovative safety features.

All of the above has filtered down from luxury cars to mainstream ones, and there’s more tech to come:

Adaptive cruise control – Keeps a safe distance to car in front.

Blind spot warning – Warns when a car is in your blindspot.

City Safe Brake – Detects unexpected objects and brakes car.

Adaptive headlights – Bends full beam around other cars.

Driver monitoring – checks driver is alert or recommends a break.

Pre-crash system – Sensors detect an impact and tighten seatbelts, close windows or even applies the brakes to minimise occupant injury.