For just a few hundred dollars, you can upgrade your old car with a variety of new safety technology. From back up cameras to front end collision detection, why buy a brand new car, when you can get all the safety for a fraction of the cost? The Institute for Highway Safety reports that the average age of vehicles on the road in the US has risen to 11.6 years old, which leaves millions of drivers missing out on the advanced safety features that could save their lives. Here’s how to add safety to your car for $500 or less.
Rather than spend upwards of $20,000 for a newer model with active safety features built in, you could add aftermarket protection, such as forward collision detection, a rear-view back up camera, and blind spot detection to your current car. While the savings could be significant, you will need to take into consideration the increased cost to upkeep an older model vehicle and decide whether it is best to add features or to simply save for a newer car.
To help with your decision, here are the top four categories to look at when adding safety technology to your car:
1. Forward Collision Detection
Approximately 40%, or 2.5 million accidents, a year are rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Forward crash prevention systems use a variety of radars, camera, and sensors to help detect when you are traveling too close to the car in front of you and give the driver a combination of visual and audio signals as feedback. These systems range depending on features and complexity.
The high-end Mobileye 560 system offers much more sophistication, including lane departure warning and a dash camera to detect road hazards, but will need to be installed by a professional which brings the price to around $1,000, but other options like Garmin’s Dash Cam 35 are easy to install and offer quality detection through audio and visual signals for $130.
2. Backup Camera
There are roughly 250 deaths each year due to back over accidents, many of whom are children. To help prevent these accidents, as well as collisions with others cars or objects while in reverse or parking, backup cameras have been added to many makes and models of newer cars. It is fairly inexpensive to add one to your current car too. There are several options from screens, to rear-view mirror displays, to audio alerts for drivers to choose from around $130-140 with visual displays. Be sure to read reviews and ask a mechanical professional if the camera is adversely affected by rain or bad weather conditions before committing to a certain brand.
3. Blind Spot Detection
Blind spot monitoring uses sensors to detect when something is alongside of the vehicle and flashes icons or beeps to alert the driver there is something in their blind spot. Goshers Blind Spot Detection System costs $239 and monitors within 10 feet of your car, though it is recommended that it be installed by a professional.
4. Emergency Assistance
Programs like Onstar and Hum by Verizon will automatically call emergency services in the event of an accident, and also sends alerts to the driver’s phone if a mechanical problem arises, allowing the driver to call for roadside help. Hum costs $10 per month (2 year subscription required) and is compatible with cars from 1996 or newer. Contact Verizon for more information on the service.
With technological advancements becoming commonplace in automotive manufacturing, safety is growing in importance, but just because you can’t afford a brand new car, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on improved protection. Adding these aftermarket features to your current car will not only save you thousands, but will keep you safer behind the wheel as well. For additional protection, call us at 724-929-2300 to review your current insurance policy or to receive a free quote and save more with CSC.