Staying safe on the road is your top priority, whether you’re driving a car, truck, or bike. Fortunately, modern designs mean that today’s vehicles are safer than ever before. However, this doesn’t mean you can enhance the safety of your car.
By choosing a vehicle with advanced built-in safety technology, you can help to keep yourself, your passengers, and other road users free from harm. When you improve your safety with gadgets and additions, you can reduce the risk of accidents and make your journeys even safer. To learn more, take a look at these top gadgets that will enhance your vehicle’s safety:
1. Lane Detection Alerts
When you are traveling on the road, straying out of your lane can be a primary cause of collisions if you aren’t careful. On a two-lane street, deviating into oncoming traffic could cause a head-on collision, which often results in serious injuries or even fatalities. A lane detection alert system helps to prevent this from happening by notifying you if your vehicle starts to stray out of its designated lane.
Although most newer vehicles are fitted with these systems, older models may not be. If you want to enhance your vehicle, you could explore the possibility of having a lane detection alert system retrofitted. If this isn’t possible, be sure to choose a vehicle that comes with lane detection alerts as standard.
2. Daytime Running Lamps
Staying visible on the road is an important way to minimize the risk of accidents. If other road users can’t see you clearly, it increases the likelihood of an incident occurring. Daytime running lamps help to keep your vehicle visible at all times because they’re automatically switched on whenever the vehicle is in motion.
Some cars are fitted with daytime running lamps as standard, particularly in Europe where they’re now compulsory. However, it’s easy to fit them to your vehicle if it doesn’t currently have them. Daytime running lamps are typically available for under $100, so they can be a cost-effective way to make your vehicle safer.
3. Hands-free Car Kits
If you don’t already have one, then a hands-free car kit is essential for today’s drivers. Using your phone at the wheel is extremely dangerous and can cause serious collisions to occur. As distracted driving laws in New York have become stricter, you also face serious sanctions and penalties if you’re caught talking on the phone or texting when you’re behind the wheel. However, there is a way you stay connected legally when you’re on the move.
Installing a handsfree car kit will enable you to make a call while you’re moving, providing you don’t need to actually touch your device. With voice-activated control, for example, you can instruct your phone to initiate a call and hang up when you’re done. This ensures you can make or receive urgent calls without being distracted and without breaching the law.
It’s important to remember, however, that driving laws are regularly updated, so be sure to check the restrictions in your area. Most hands-free systems use Bluetooth to connect your phone to the sound system in your vehicle. This makes it easy to connect virtually any handset to your Bluetooth system, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding a kit to work with your car and your phone.
4. Parking Sensors
If you’ve ever dinged your vehicle on a post, scratched a nearby parked car, or damaged your alloys on a curb, you will know just how easy it is to make a miscalculation when you’re parking. If you want to park perfectly every time, adding sensors to your vehicle will enable you to do so.
Many vehicles are now manufactured with built-in parking sensors but, if yours doesn’t have them, they can be retrofitted fairly easily. In fact, many parking sensor kits can be added by vehicle owners, without any need for wiring or complicated installations.
Damaging your vehicle, or anyone else’s can lead to costly repair bills. Even if your insurance policy covers this type of damage, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars in deductibles. With sensors on your vehicle, however, you can prevent minor incidents from occurring, keep your car in pristine condition and save money too.
5. Tire Pressure Gauge
When you’re driving your vehicle, it’s essential to have your tires properly inflated. If the tire pressure is too high or too low, it increases the risk of accidents. The wrong tire pressure can affect how effectively your vehicle brakes and handles corners, which is why it’s so important to ensure your tire pressure is at the appropriate level.
Fortunately, this is something that every vehicle owner can learn to do themselves. A tire pressure gauge allows you to check the tire pressure in seconds. The manual for your vehicle will state what the appropriate pressure is, depending on the load you’re carrying. By adding more air or allowing the tire to deflate a little, you can adjust the tire pressure and increase your vehicle’s safety.
6. Seatbelt Cutter
When they were first introduced, seatbelts revolutionized road safety. By keeping drivers and passengers stable in the event of a collision, seatbelts have prevented numerous fatalities and helped people to avoid serious injuries.
However, if an accident does occur, it’s important that you’re able to exit the vehicle as quickly as possible. In some instances, the seatbelt release mechanism may not work if it’s been damaged during the course of an accident. If so, a simple seatbelt cutter will allow you to cut through the material and free yourself from the car. Although it’s a simple gadget, it’s one that’s essential and should be present in every vehicle.
7. Jump Starter
Breaking down is stressful in itself but, if your car malfunctions in a dangerous place, you’re going to want to get it up and running again as quickly as possible. Being stuck at the side of the highway could put you at risk of being hit by another vehicle, for example. With a jump-started on board, you can ensure that a dead battery never catches you unawares again.
What’s more – many jump starters are also able to charge car batteries, so you can top up your battery with power if you need to. Additionally, some jump starters are fitted with USB ports, so you can charge up essential devices, like cellphones and GPS, to help you stay safe when you’re traveling.
8. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit should be accessible in every vehicle because you never know when you might need it. For dealing with minor injuries, a first aid kit is invaluable, so be sure to check that you have one in your vehicle. Similarly, make sure to replace consumables, like plasters, every time you use something. If any products in your first aid kit are nearing their expiry rate, make sure you replace them in good time.
9. Fire Extinguisher
Carrying a fire extinguisher in your vehicle will ensure that you can dowse flames and put out car fires if you need to. Immediately following a collision, your vehicle could ignite, so having a fire extinguisher to hand could prevent a tragic incident from occurring. Alternatively, a vehicle malfunction could cause the engine to overheat, which may result in flames igniting. By having a fire extinguisher available, however, you can ensure that you’re well-equipped to deal with these types of incidents.
In-car fire extinguishers can be purchased relatively inexpensively, so you don’t have to spend a lot in order to improve your vehicle’s safety. Simply make sure that you choose a fire extinguisher that’s designed to deal with vehicle fires, and you can be confident that you’ll be able to deal with the situation until more help arrives.
10. Car Window Hammer
Car windows can be surprisingly hard to break, which is typically seen as a good thing. However, if an accident makes it impossible for you to open the doors or lower the windows, you’ll need to break the glass in order to exit the vehicle.
Trying to do this by hand can be impossible, so having a window hammer available is vital. Most manufacturers advise using the hammer to break the corner of the window first, as this is generally the weakest point. By doing so, you can create an escape route and exit the vehicle as quickly as possible. Many window hammers have a built-in seat belt cutter too, so you can incorporate two gadgets into one and substantially improve the safety of your vehicle.
Staying Safe on the Road
Having the right range of gadgets and accessories can help to prevent accidents from occurring and ensure you have the resources you need to deal with any incidents on the road. Although no-one wants to consider the possibility of being involved in a collision, road traffic accidents aren’t uncommon. By equipping yourself with safety tools and learning how to use them, you can make sure that you’re able to handle any situation safely and sensibly.