2007 Ford Ranger - Does New Safety Tech Really work?

You often point out that the new “tech” on new cars (lane change, front vision breaking, etc) is a major advance in safety. I have no issues with seat belts, disk brakes, radial tires…but are there any statistics that show this new stuff really works? You know just because they can do it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I think maybe cars are getting smarter but drivers are getting dumber, so it’s a wash. Maybe better driving lessons would actually be safer and cheaper.

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Excellent question, Ken. The short answer is that the data exists validating that modern active safety systems do work. Our partner site, BestRide covers the topic closely. The great thing about how many of the safety systems were first rolled out is that they were optional. That enabled researchers to gather data on crashes by the exact same models with and without the systems. They work, and they work great. The first good data enabled studies about three years ago. As data continues to be gathered the news gets better as the systems evolve. There is also some information available from folks who have been lucky enough to receive extensive driver training. I am a graduate of three performance driving schools (not counting driver’s ed) and auto braking saved my butt once. Other folks with a lot of training like Ezra Dyer of Car and Driver and Pop Mechanics have also detailed how the systems saved them from a crash. One reason is that safety systems can do things that drivers simply cannot. They can see ahead of a car in front of you and tell if it has begun hard braking. They can react faster than you can with your right foot to emergency braking situations and they can apply full stopping power instantly, something that even veteran drivers often do not do when it could be helpful. The newest systems also prevent pedestrian strikes, something early active braking systems did not do. And they are now becoming standard equipment on the most affordable vehicles. The highlighted links will bring you to some detailed stories. Cheers,

These features are the stepping stone to self-driving cars. There’s no stopping their integration into newer automobiles. It’s part of the technology roadmap and the cat’s out of the bag so to speak. There’s no going back, like it or not…