There are a lot of expenses associated with being on the road, from your insurance and fuel costs to routine maintenance and occasional repairs. As with most things, investing in the right features and functionality upfront can save you money in the long run. When it comes to your car’s safety features, having the right technologies can help you save in several ways. 

Auto insurance rates are typically lower for safer vehicles. This is because, if they’re involved in accidents, it’s usually less expensive to fix them. Advanced safety systems can alert you to potential collisions before they even occur, and seat belts and air bags minimize injuries if an accident does happen. Pair the proper safety features with American Auto Insurance’s affordable coverage to cut costs on the road. We are the cheapest and most reliable insurance provider in Illinois, offering a wide range of coverage options including plans that are compliant with SR-22 insurance regulations.

Seat Belts

An orange seat belt against the leather interior of a car.

Seat belts are the single most important safety feature in your car. All vehicles in America have seat belts, but not all drivers use them. Roughly half of the passenger-vehicle occupants killed in 2021 were not wearing their seat belts. Buckling up in the front seat of a passenger car decreases your risk of a fatal injury by 45% and cuts the risk of a moderate to critical injury in half. In a light truck, a seat belt will reduce the risk of fatal injury 60% and reduce the risk of a moderate to critical injury by 65%.

Wearing your seat belt keeps you in compliance with Illinois law and keeps you safe in your vehicle. Don’t neglect this simple but vital aspect of car safety.

Air Bags

Air bags reduce the chance that your head or body will collide with the vehicle’s interior during a crash. However, they must be used in conjunction with seat belts to provide the appropriate level of safety. 

Between 1987 and 2017, it’s estimated that frontal air bags alone saved over 50,000 lives. Front air bags are required by law in all model years from 1999 onward. Side air bags that protect the head reduce the risk of death by 37% in cars and 52% in SUVs. 

While front and side air bags are the most common, there are other types as well. Rear-window curtain air bags protect back-seat passengers in the event of a rear-end crash, and far-side air bags are positioned to keep the driver and front-seat passenger from colliding with one another. 

Car insurance rates are often lower for vehicles with full-front seat and driver-side air bags. These common features may help you save hundreds compared to the insurance rates for a car that’s not equipped with this level of protection.

Antilock Brake Systems

An antilock brake system (ABS) keeps your wheels from locking when you slam on your brakes. This helps you to remain in control of your vehicle, even when you’re stopping abruptly. The addition of an ABS decreases crash involvement by 6% in cars and 8% in pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs. Surprisingly, these systems have a higher involvement in fatal car accidents where drivers run off the road. But this hazard is increasingly offset by a stability control system.

The ABS is most effective when paired with a brake assist system. This technology helps drivers apply full braking force when extreme braking is detected. Some advanced driver-assistance systems will even apply emergency brakes independently when a hazard, such as a pedestrian or another car, is detected in front of the vehicle.

Electronic Stability Control

Electronic stability control (ESC) is included on all cars from the 2012 model year onward. Your ABS works in tandem with the ESC, which offsets the risk of accidents if you run off the road.  ESC technology helps you maintain control of your vehicle if you over- or understeer. It applies braking directly to the appropriate wheel, which can keep your vehicle from rolling over or veering off the road.

This system monitors your vehicle’s speed, lateral acceleration, wheel angle, and yaw to determine the potential risk for instability. It then reduces engine torque to individual wheels as needed when the driver experiences a loss of control. ESC reduces the risk of a single-vehicle run-off-the-road crash fatality by 36% for cars and 70% for trucks, vans, and SUVs. It also reduces the risk of fatalities in single-vehicle crashes by 36% for cars and 63% for trucks, vans, and SUVs.

Sensors and Cameras

Sensors and cameras are revolutionizing the way people operate their vehicles, creating some of the safest cars on the road. A backup camera makes it possible to get a clear and complete look at what’s behind your vehicle. Surround-view cameras provide a 360-degree view of your surroundings to help you back up, parallel park, or maneuver in tight spots. 

Sensors around your vehicle will alert you to oncoming hazards. All of these tools can supplement your awareness and create a safer driving experience.

Drowsiness Detection

It’s estimated that drowsy driving may be involved in more than 6,000 fatal crashes every year. One in 25 adult drivers reports falling asleep at the wheel in the last 30 days. Drowsiness detection systems monitor the driver for drifting and other changes in their driving patterns. Some of the latest driver safety technologies even monitor your face for signs of drowsiness. These systems then sound an alert to help you stay awake.

Technical Safety Bulletins

Technical safety bulletins (TSBs) are a supplementary resource that can give you more insights into how to handle common problems with your vehicle. Where available, these can provide helpful information for keeping your car safely maintained so it can perform its best on the road.

Stay Safe on the Road

A well-equipped vehicle can provide a wealth of protection on the road, but you can keep yourself and your car safer by carrying the proper insurance. At American Auto Insurance, we offer the most affordable insurance options around, including SR-22 plans. We’ll walk you through every step of the insurance process, from understanding your options to choosing and purchasing a plan. Call us now to get a quote.

orange and white belt on black leather seat by Remy Lovesy is licensed with Unsplash License 


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