Aftermarket Safety System

High-Tech Driver’s Aids Make You a Better Driver
Active-safety technologies make today's cars safer. One-upping tried-and-true passive safety gear, like seatbelts and airbags that protect you during a crash, active safety electronics help drivers avoid accidents altogether. Automobile manufacturers are installing this high-tech gadgetry as standard or optional equipment on many new models. Literally the bells and whistles of modern automotive safety, these advanced systems warn you when you veer out of your lane, encroach on a car in your blind spot or get dangerously close to a car or object ahead. These technologies are proven to reduce accidents. But what if you’re not buying a new car? Or what if a particular safety feature isn't available as original equipment on a new model you're considering?
Great news! You can retrofit many of the latest active-safety features and driver’s aids to virtually any car--whether new or just new to you--with aftermarket components installed by MECP-certified mobile electronics installers.

 Here are five active-safety features that can make you a safer driver:

Research from consumer safety groupKids and Cars shows that of the nearly 2,137 non-traffic related child fatalities between 2001 and 2010, 63% were due to vehicle striking children obscured in one of the vehicle’s “blindzones.”  Rear-facing (“backup”) cameras will not only save you from reversing into a pole in the supermarket parking lot, they also save lives. A small camera installed near your rear license plate, activated when you shift into reverse, provides a wide-angle view of the area directly behind you. Aftermarket solutions range from plug-and-play kits you connect yourself to professionally installed systems that integrate with the screen on your portable navigation device, aftermarket in-dash receiver or factory-equipped navigation display. A certified installer can integrate both a front- and rear-facing camera for the ultimate visibility in your vehicle’s blindzones.

Proximity Sensors (Parking Aids):
Using coin-sized ultrasonic transmitters in the front and rear bumpers, proximity sensor systems (a.k.a. parking aids) produce audible “beeps” which change in pitch and frequency to alert you as you approach objects. Identical to those available in new cars as either factory- or dealer-installed equipment, aftermarket parking aids employ multiple sensors installed in both the front and rear bumpers and a dash-mounted display to provide visual and audible alerts that make parking a lot easier. Proximity sensors are more than a driver's aid; they are an active safety feature that can help you avoid low-speed and back-over accidents.

Lane Departure and Forward Collision Warning:
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,30,000 vehicle occupants die in automobile accidents every year. Half of these are the result of frontal crashes. Lane Departure Warning systems, which alert you when you inadvertently cross a lane marker, aim to reduce such accidents. These systems use a small forward-facing camera--typically mounted inconspicuously to the backside of your rearview mirror--to monitor the road ahead. The camera recognizes the painted lane markings and alerts you both audibly and visually if your vehicle is veering outside the lines unintentionally. Similarly, forward collision warning alerts you to slow or stopped vehicles in the lane ahead, giving you enough time to react and avoid rear-ending them. Commercial vehicle and trucking fleets have relied on these systems to keep their vehicles and drivers safe for almost a decade, and now these samesolutions are finally available to consumers.

Blind Spot Detection:
NHTSAreports that as much as five percent of collisions in the U.S. are a result of improper lane change. Blind spot detection technology aims to put a dent in that number. Now available as aftermarket equipment, Blind Spot Detection systems alert you of vehicles or other objects beyond your peripheral vision. Sensors outside the vehicle continually monitor the lanes on either side and LED status lights signal you when there is a vehicle in your blind spot. As with all active safety features, you can easily activate or deactivate blind spot detection based on driving conditions.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS):
Tires are arguably one of the most critical safety components on a car, as they are the only part in contact with the road. Maintaining proper air pressure is essential, yet it’s something few of us ever take the time and effort to check.TPMS, now a government mandate on all new cars, are a simple-but-proven active safety feature. Using sensors mounted inside the wheels or in the valve stem caps, these systems alert you the instant the air pressure in one or more tires drops below a critical threshold. These systems are available in the aftermarket and are one of the most affordable safety upgrades you can add to your car. Most solutions use electronic valve stem caps that communicate wirelessly to a small receiver inside the cockpit. Some indicate only when a tire is low, while others give you a numerical read-out of the air pressure in each tire.

These are just five active safety features you can add to your car. Remember, proper installation of any of these safety systems is critically important. While a few are simple plug-and-play products, most are not. Identify retailers and professional installers credentialed by MECP to perform your installation.

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