QOTD: Has Technology Ever Saved Your Hide?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd has technology ever saved your hide

It’s looking like the winter of 2018 is something many of us will talk about, probably with much venom and/or wonder, in the years to come. Unpredictable, erratic, and prone to extremes — at least so far. North Carolina received a blizzard yesterday, providing Bozi Tatarevic’s WRX with an opportunity to shine. As for myself, upon returning home from Detroit I discovered my car’s doors sealed shut with ice. Nothing short of a blowtorch will pry those portals open.

Oh well. It’s going to warm up this week. I have a bottle of Jack and a selection of non-perishables.

While in Detroit, a colleague told of his adventure on a slushy, crowded Toronto-area highway, during which the back end of his F-150 got very loose while navigating the shallowest of turns at high speed. Electronic stability control kicked in, did its job, and the trip continued without incident. This got me to thinking — with new cars leaving the factory with an ever-increasing roster of electronic nannies, how often do these driver aids actually avert disaster?

Have you ever had your ass hauled out of the fire by the last-second intervention of a newfangled safety feature?

To avoid making this question too broad, we’ll exempt things like airbags and seatbelts from the criteria, as well as anti-lock brakes. Only driver aids from the last several years apply: blind spot monitoring, lane-holding, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, collision warning, and the always useful stability control. Maybe it was a backup camera that prevented tragedy. The list goes on and on.

A few times, I’ve had a press car deploy the brakes prematurely to head off a collision, but only because the previous driver cranked the system to its most sensitive setting. In all of those incidents, however, my eyes were on the road ahead and there was plenty of time to put my right leg to use. The same might not true for some of our readers.

Let us know what happened to make you glad you shelled out for a well-equipped vehicle.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Pwrwrench Pwrwrench on Jan 19, 2018

    I do not have a vehicle with any of this stuff. The SOs Mustang has ABS which has activated a few times. I think that this stuff is working for others. Over time I have seen many houses on corners and intersections that regularly have to replace/repair walls and fences due to late night weekend enthusiasts. A house 1/4 mile down the road from mine is on a 90 deg bend and often had cars go through a fence and into their pool. They put a bunch of washing machine size boulders in the yard in front of the fence. There has not been a crash there in at least 4 years so the tech devices might be having some success.

  • HahnZahn HahnZahn on Jan 19, 2018

    Yes. The AEB part of the EyeSight suite in my new Impreza in all likelihood prevented an accident about a week after I got it last year. I was exiting the freeway when another car decided to also exit in front of me very late. The offramp at this particular exit is usually very open, though curvy. On this morning, it was backed up. The driver who yoinked in front of me at the last instant then had to slam on her brakes due to the backup she probably couldn't see due to the curves and driving like an idiot. I was already moving my foot to brake, then the AEB kicked in even sooner. It was hard enough to trigger the antilock brakes. Nothing quite like feeling that sickening vibration in your brand-new car due to someone else's negligence. I don't know that it 100% prevented the accident, but it didn't hurt. That incident also was the factor that led to me getting a dashcam. I see a lot of skeptics on car websites who arrogantly declare that "just paying attention" prevents accidents, but this technology can only help.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.