The best and worse safety divice.s in car's

What is in your opinion the best and the worse safety feature for car’s in the last 20 or so year’s? I will wait for some of your opinion’s before I give you mine I know some of you will agree with my idea and many of you will not.

I would have to say any form of automated assistance such as the auto braking/cruise assistance stuff. I’m just waiting for some twisted soul to figure out what frequency can make them freak out in the worst way and mess with other drivers. It probably wouldn’t take but 100$ worth of electronics.

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Agree with you 100% but I have something else in mind that I think is far worse.

The best is proper 3 point seat belts. The ones we have now, not the automated motor-mice versions from the 90s. Eay to use, comfortable and the most effective way to avoid serious injuries in a crash.

The worst…hmm, probably tire pressure monitors. Battery failure, replacement cost, dubious value - I check my tires and can feel a deflated tire in my bum. The best of those is GMs because they tell you each tire’s pressure on the dash in real time. Anything else is useless junk. An idiot light of dubious value - You might have a low tire! Guess which one?? Or maybe the battery is low! I don’t know! Neener- neener!

I have not driven, nor do I want to drive a car that will nudge my steering, EVER! So I can’t comment on lane-keeping or lane change protection systems other than to say No, Just NO.

I would have included the emergency brake boost feature. It recognizes an emergency spike brake apply and goes straight to max brake ABS. Lots of opportunity for awfulness. But the one on my Audi works well and never, ever intrudes. So inconclusive answer.

Some stability controls systems are downright awful and intrusive and some are downright magically good. That would move some near to the top of best list and some of the top of worst list. No definite answer there.


I will not criticize the new safety features . Most of them can be turned off . But for a good friend of ours who no longer is as good a driver as he used to be the lane assist and adaptive cruise control have really made a difference . Backup cameras , words just cannot describe how beneficial they are. I might even call steering wheel controls a safety feature as well as convenient . Power drivers seat makes it easier to change setting positions while driving on long trips .

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My 2017 Accord has a right lane camera that activates when I use the right side turn signal, and that is a big help in seeing traffic in the blind spot. I can also turn it on without using the turn signal. There is a button on the end of the turn signal stalk that turns the camera on and off. I like it so much I’d like one on the left side too. The wife’s 2019 Odyssey has blind spot monitoring, so I doubt that Honda would add the left side camera too.

I would not want “lane assist” but if I have to accept it, I will, in order to get the full suite of other safety features.

Every time that an advance in safety has been introduced, there have been naysayers.

Take, for instance, Chrysler’s introduction of 4 wheel hydraulic brakes in 1924 on “popularly priced cars”. Nobody seemed to criticize that feature when it was limited to cars for the truly wealthy, but as soon as Chrysler introduced 4 wheel hydraulic brakes, there was a flurry of fake news articles–chiefly planted by GM–claiming that 4 wheel hydaulic brakes had resulted in many deaths because the cars “stopped too fast”. :smirk:
GM’s fake news articles in the East claimed that these deaths had taken place “West of the Rockies”, while their articles that were published in the West claimed that the fatalities took place “East of the Rockies”.

Similarly, when ABS was introduced, some naysayers said that they didn’t need it because they “knew how to brake”. So, those “knowledgeable” drivers were capable of pulsing their brakes 15 times per second?

Uh…sure. They were also able to modulate braking on individual wheels when they start to slip. :roll_eyes:

I just don’t want the car turning the steering or hitting the brakes for me because it thinks lane drift or a collision is eminent.
Audio/visual warning is enough.

They know “how to drive”… under all conditions.

The ancient Greeks considered Hubris to be one of the worst sins, and anyone who thinks that he can execute cadence braking on individual wheels is surely guilty of Hubris.

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I am a huge proponent for abs. But I did watch a video and article with a study on this. They took some “professional” drivers and they got practiced at braking without abs. Many of them performed at least as well. But most of us are not practiced professionals and would not react according to script in an emergency situation.

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I wonder how well the pros do if the wheels on one side are an dry pavement and the other side are on sand…or ice?


In a perfect world, every driver would be a highly-skilled/practiced professional, but that is not a reality. And, even those professional drivers would be unable to pulse their brake pedal as rapidly as a modern ABS system is capable of doing.


I have just purchased a new car, just because I wanted to once in my lifetime. (Not including the 1980 Monza that I bought and got repossessed when I was young and dumber). I did some research on the internet before I did some test drives. As I’m getting a little older, I was attracted to these safety gadgets like steering assist, brake assist and the like. I thought they could be assistive. And I love technology. Upon driving these things I quickly changed my mind. Lane keeping is cool but I don’t want all these bells bussers and butt cheek vibraters going off everytime I get too close to a line. I was testing one and lifted my hands 1 inch above the steering wheel, the dash lit a warning sign saying my hands are off the wheel. Then when you do drive normal and if the thing gives you a gentle nudge it feels like there could be an alignment problem. I can’t stand that. The salesmen wouldn’t let me try the auto braking feature, but my son drives semi and he says that sometimes the shadows from overpasses will activate the brakes. What I would like if it was available without all the other junk is self distancing cruise control. But sometimes too much stuff can be distracting. So far I think the infotainment centers are not safe because they can cause dstracted driving.

Some good comments here some I agree with some I don’t but no one mentioned the one I had in mind. The cell phone one f the best as pay phone’s are no longer around for emergcency’s and breakdown’s, The worse for causing distracted driving this is just my opinion you may or may not agree with me but I respect your opinion what ever it may be.

Speaking of pay phone’s you show your age when you ask some one under the age of 30 if they know what a pay phone is or tell them they sound like a broken record their response is more than likley to be what’s a record.

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The cell phone is neither a good or bad safety device. They don’t come with the vehicle . And their existence is what made pairing them to hands off systems in vehicles . The cell phone comes under the distracted driving category.

I should have said after market safety device that could be used in the car or as you said could be paired to make them part of the car.

Broderick Crawford said it all at the end of an episode of Highway Patrol: "See Highway Patrol in action again next week. Until then, remember:‘No matter how new, the safest device in the car is you’ ".
(I’ll admit to watching reruns of Highway Patrol on YouTube. The plots are terrible, the acting isn’t very good, but seeing the cars from the 1950s is wonderful).
As far as pay phones are concerned, I bought a dial pay phone from an advertisement in the back of a magazine 42 years ago. I hooked it up as an extension phone in the kitchen. I also salvaged an EXIT light from a building that was being demolished. I hooked it up above the kitchen door leading to the outside. After a year, Mrs. Triedaq made me take it all down. I still have the pay phone stored in my attic.

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The best “safety device” in any car isn’t installed at the factory, or by an aftermarket equipment dealer. It isn’t made of plastic or metal, or sensors and circuit boards. It’s the common sense and skill of the person driving.

If you are someone who pays attention to your surroundings, drives sensibly, and always wears your seat belt, even a 30-year old car can be extremely safe. Conversely, if you are someone who is too lazy to wear your seat belt, plays with your cellphone while driving, or drives aggressively, even a new car with all the fancy “safety features” can be a death trap.

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Highly trained professionals cannot modulate the brakes 15 times a second, instead they learn to feel or sense the point just below lockup where maximum braking actually occurs.

GM ABS systems, at least on the pickups, suburban and full sized vans were truly horrible for many years and would frequently go into a fast buzzing mode at 15 mph or less on a dry road and prevent the vehicle from stopping.

When I bought my 2004 PT Cruiser, one of the attractions to me was that it did not have abs.

The abs systems of today are much better and could help the average driver, but many of them get scared by the noise and pulsation that they never feel in their normal driving and dont keep holding the pedal down with full force. They then report that the car"just wouldn’t stop?

I still have not seen evidence that abs can give as short a distance as regular braking on fresh fallen snow or glare ice.

I no longer care much if I have it or not.

The original point of abs was not necessarily shorter stopping distances but to allow you to steer while braking and yet people seem to forget to do that and slam into cars they could have just gone around.

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