My car is nearly 14 years old. I’ve garaged it, so it looks new (on the outside). But the inside, now that’s another story. I paid a lot of money for my car. It was brand spanking new and all of the latest safety features which, at the time was only one air bag in the steering wheel, another for the passenger side and anti-lock brakes. I think the Nissan dealership called the color “Mid-Life Crisis Yellow.” I got what I paid for, it’s been a great car. It was, what the dealership called “loaded” when I bought it and, looking back, I must have been loaded as well to have bought a car in such a crazy color. But, hey, I haven’t had a car accident in 14 years. That’s likely due to the color. Other drivers can definitely see me coming. Now, 14 years later, there is a long list of standard safety features in nearly all new cars. These features are meant to avoid collisions and save lives. Now that I am in the market for a new car to get me through the next 14 years, I’ll be checking these safety features off my list.

• L.E.D. Automotive lighting: Running lights and tail lights and sometimes headlights.
• Proximity-Based Power Folding, Illuminated Side Mirrors: Great when parking on a busy, tight street or pulling into your cramped garage. In some cars, the side mirrors have a light below them to shine light on the door lock and the ground below.
• Heated Head Lights: Great in winter to keep the snow and ice from covering your lights.
• Back Up Cameras and Surround View Cameras: Back up cameras are now standard in most new cars, while surround view cameras may be an add-on.
• Surround Sensors: Great for letting you know you’re getting too close to the curb or another object. The persistent nagging can be annoying at times, like a back-seat driver.
• Parking Assist: Parallel parking (or what I call Parallel “Chicken”), for most drivers, is the hardest maneuver.
• Keyless Entry: Not in all cars, but not only in luxury cars like it used to be.
• Airbag Sensors: Weight distribution on the passenger seats will turn airbags to “on” mode.
• In-Seat Storage: Not standard in all cars, but what a convenience this would be.
• Self-Dimming Headlights: Again, not standard in all cars.
• Heated Seats: I had these in my 1989 Volvo and man, were they great in the wintertime.
• A Full-Sized Spare Tire: Not just a doughnut tire.

Disc Brakes are also standard in all cars manufactured today. Oh, yes, and Air Conditioning. Although the above mentioned safety features may save your life, you certainly could not live without air conditioning!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Standard Safety Features – Comedy Defensive Driving School