Safety features

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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
Today's modern vehicle is equipped with dozens of safety features. Seat belts, active head restraints, dual front air bags, side air bags, collapsible steering columns, shatterproof safety glass, anti-lock brakes, and traction control are now standard equipment on many new vehicles. Other new innovations include parking-assist systems that help drivers detect obstacles too close for comfort, and onboard navigation systems that tell drivers where they are and where they need to go. Electronic keys that allow a vehicle to start only when there's a precise match between the vehicle's ignition and a transponder embedded in the ignition key are now common. Other new ideas include self-dimming rear-view mirrors that dim when hit by bright light and then return to normal when the light disappears; xenon (ZEE-non) headlights that approximate natural daylight; and day-time running lights that increase your visibility and make you more visible to other drivers. Another new breakthrough is the 'smart air-bag' that differentiates between the weight of a child, adult, or empty passenger seat and deploys only as necessary. Safety features are becoming more and more precise and technically advanced with each new line of vehicles. Read your owner's manual. Knowing which safety features are on your own car, truck or SUV (S-U-V) and knowing exactly how they work, could save your life.

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