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]
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 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.
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