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Latest car safety features becoming must-haves

Today's new cars are packed with safety features. But which are most important?

Testing auto safety features

Today's new cars are packed with safety features that help protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. But which car safety features should you look for when buying a new auto?

Here are some of the safety feature must-haves you'll want to consider for your next vehicle:

Safety features: standard equipment

Some important safety features are now required on new vehicles. These include front airbags, electronic stability control, safety belts, and the LATCH child safety seat system. Side-curtain airbags, while not required by regulation, have become standard on many new cars in recent years. Review additional safety features at

New technologies to consider

Once exclusive to luxury vehicles, crash avoidance technology is now available on many new models. These can include:

  • Forward collision warning
    These systems use an audible warning to alert drivers when they are coming up too close to a vehicle in front of them. "Systems with autonomous braking also back up warnings with an automatic application to the brakes," says David Zuby, chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and its Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). "Our research shows that both help reduce crashes."
  • Adaptive headlights
    These headlights pivot toward the direction you're traveling and are great for improving visibility around curves. When the HLDI studied adaptive headlights offered on Acura, Mazda, Mercedes, and Volvo models, it discovered that they lowered property damage liability claims by as much as 10%. For added safety, Zuby also recommends HID headlights, adaptive high-beam assist and night view technology.
  • Blind spot detection
    Sensors serve as second eyes, alerting drivers of objects in their blind spots. Though less research backs up the benefits of blind spot detection, Zuby recommends it. "Whether or not it's effective, when we've talked to vehicle owners with cars equipped with blind spot detection, they universally agree it's a good thing," Zuby says.

Learn which vehicles are equipped with crash avoidance systems.

Additional auto safeguards

When shopping for a new car, review the crash performance of various models provided by the IIHS vehicle safety ratings. And learn more about new auto safety technologies from State Farm®.

Keep in mind that safety features aren't a substitute for safe, defensive driving. If you need to brush up on your skills, consider taking a driver safety class.

Need more incentive? Taking a class may make you eligible for discounts on your auto insurance.

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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