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Drivers may be unaware of the latest safety features

With automakers bringing their newest offerings to dealerships this month, performance is likely going to be one of the things automakers will use to entice car buyers. Some will also tout the latest safety features; while others will flaunt new designs. While performance and design will cater to buyers who want the newest toy, a recent study suggests that few drivers understand the latest safety offerings.

According to the University of Iowa Public Policy Center’s Transportation and Safety program, there are large information gaps when it comes to communicating potentially life saving safety features. For example, drivers may know about the term cruise control, which keeps a car at a certain speed, but a majority of drivers do not know about adaptive cruise control, which does the same thing but also can slow the car down when approaching traffic or encountering difficult driving conditions. 

The same could be said about backup cameras. Once something that could be found only on luxury car models, the federal government has now required all new cars built in 2018 to require such cameras as standard equipment.

Further complicating things, cars are becoming more reliable, meaning that drivers are less likely to buy new cars, so they are less likely to be in the market for a new car; which means that they would not be familiar with the latest safety features.

While automakers have their work cut out in making sure drivers know about safety features, drivers must still use the best safety features around: common sense and reasonable care. 

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