Over the years, auto regulations have steadily changed and transformed. Safety regulations, in particular, have undergone incredible changes over the years. Compare the popular 1965 Mustang with the current model. Once sold without the basic safety equipment of seat belts, the car now features safety belts, air bags and other safety features that can save lives. Here are just a few of the regulatory changes that make cars safer.
Once considered a simple luxury, power windows are now standard equipment on most cars. Unfortunately, power windows have a track record of trapping and killing children who accidentally leaned on the switch while they were waving out the window. While older cars feature a basic toggle switch that is pressed down in either direction to raise and lower windows, new standards make the cars safer. Modern switches can be pressed down to lower the window, but they must be lifted up to raise the window.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Blowouts can cause accidents, and a vehicle with underinflated tires will have a sluggish response time. The tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS, is designed to constantly monitor tire pressure and alert the driver if a tire is not at the proper levels. Required by law before a vehicle can be sold in the United States.
Electronic Stability Control
Once a sweet feature of high-end cars, this is now required on all vehicles manufactured after 2012. A computer system is used to sense if the vehicle is losing traction, and the computer will automatically apply the brakes at the proper wheels to correct the problem. These advanced systems can even reduce engine power if necessary, so it’s easier for you to stay on the road when the weather is bad.
Anti-lock brakes are already standard equipment on many cars. However, this system is an important component of electronic stability control systems, so you will see ABS brakes on all cars manufactured after 2012.
Front and Side Airbags
The more airbags your car has, the safer it is. However, only the front airbags are currently required in vehicles. However, the government is changing crash standards starting in 2012. While they won’t actually mandate that a car manufacturer make good use of side curtain airbags, the fact is that most manufacturers will have to include these life-saving devices to earn the high scores they crave.
There is no doubt that cars are much safer now than they were even a decade ago. Many options that were once limited to expensive cars are now required on all cars, even those that sell at the bottom end of the price range. From mandatory seat belts and seat belt laws to anti-lock brakes and tire pressure monitoring systems, any car you buy after model year 2012 is bound to be reasonably safe thanks to changing auto regulations.