Autonomous Emergency Braking

Car safety equipment: the key kit drivers want to be fitted as standard

Car safety equipment

Car safety equipment such as self-braking can stop cars crashing if the driver isn’t paying attention (Picture © Thatcham)

More than four out of five drivers want safety equipment such as automatic braking to be standard on new cars. And safety campaigners are urging drivers to buy only cars with it fitted as standard. They hope this will pressure car makers into fitting the tech more widely.

Currently, only one of Britain’s top 10 best-selling cars – the Mercedes-Benz C-Class – comes with automatic braking as part of its normal equipment. But research has found that when it’s an optional extra, car buyers ignore it. Instead they favour more tangible everyday kit such as sunroofs or upgraded sound systems. And according to studies, a fifth of car buyers refuse to pay extra for safety equipment.

Despite this, researchers for Stop the Crash found that 83 per cent of drivers actually want safety kit such as automatic braking to be standard. Chairman of Stop the Crash David Ward said: “This research shows how important safety is to the consumer. But it highlights how this often fails to translate into safety options being purchased in the showroom. Manufacturers must offer safety systems as standard with proven ability to save lives.”

What is automatic braking?

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Car electronic safety kit: what’s worth paying extra for on a new car

Car electronic safety kit

Drivers can now specify electronics that enable cars to brake automatically (Picture © Volvo)

Electronic safety kit is increasingly available on even the smallest cars. While some equipment, such as the Electronic Stability Control that prevents spins, is standard on virtually every car, drivers have to pay extra for other gizmos. But which are worth the added expense? We look at five safety features and give our rating on whether they’re worth ticking as an optional extra or flicking as a waste of money.  Continue reading

What is Autonomous Emergency Braking and how does it work?

Volvo was one of the pioneers of Autonomous Braking (Picture © Volvo)

Volvo was one of the pioneers of Autonomous Braking (Picture © Volvo)

From 2015 new cars must have Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) if they’re to get a maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP, the independent crash-safety organisation. The aim is to encourage car makers to fit as standard the system that slows or stops a car automatically if it detects danger.

Read on to find all you need to know about an exciting new technology that could slash the number of accidents on British roads.  Continue reading