Resources

High-Tech Vehicle Safety Systems

In recent years, rapid advances have been made to automotive technologies, especially with respect to electronic sensing and control systems. These have allowed engineers to develop a range of "high-tech" safety systems.

In this series of web pages, the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals, is pleased to provide information on a wide range of recently developed safety systems. These include devices that provide increased crash protection for vehicle occupants, and systems that may allow drivers to avoid collisions, or at least to mitigate their severity.

Some of these systems are available as standard equipment on new vehicles, while others may only be available as additional-cost options, or as part of specific equipment packages on certain vehicle models. Take the time to browse through the range of equipment described and consider if you shouldn't be looking for these added safety features next time you purchase a vehicle.

Front Air Bags

Front air bags, for the driver and right-front passenger, mainly provide protection against head contact with the steering wheel and dashboard. They are designed as supplementary restraint systems (SRS), meaning that the protection they provide is in addition to that offered by the use of a regular lap-and-shoulder seat belt. How do they work? Air […]

Advanced Air Bags

Front air bags, for the driver and right-front passenger, mainly provide protection against head contact with the steering wheel and dashboard. They are designed as supplementary restraint systems (SRS), meaning that the protection they provide is in addition to that offered by the use of a regular lap-and-shoulder seat belt. Advanced systems feature sophisticated sensors […]

Side Air Bags

Side air bags are inflatable restraints that provide head and chest protection for vehicle occupants involved in nearside impacts. Chest protection is provided by torso bags, or combination head and torso bags, that are installed in the side door of the vehicle or in the seatback. Head and torso bags feature an upper lobe in […]

Seat Belt Pretensioners

A properly used seat belt fits snugly over the pelvis and across the chest. In a crash, the seat belt retractor locks and the webbing prevents the occupant from moving into contact with hard portions of the vehicle's interior, thus reducing the potential for injury. In order to obtain optimal protection, the seat belt needs […]

Seat Belt Load Limiters

A properly used seat belt fits snugly over the pelvis and across the chest. In the event of a frontal collision, the lap and shoulder belts restrict the occupant's forward motion to prevent potentially injury-producing contacts with the dashboard, steering wheel, and windshield. The restraining forces applied to the occupant by the seat belt are […]

Anti-Lock Brake Systems

Applying full brake pressure in an emergency stop situation can result in locking the vehicle's wheels. If the front wheels are locked, the driver is unable to steer, and the vehicle slides in a straight line over the roadway surface. Without the driver being able to take avoiding action by steering, the vehicle may collide […]

Brake Assist

In emergency stop situations, some drivers fail to brake hard enough, or soon enough, and are consequently involved in more serious collisions than might otherwise be the case. Brake assist systems apply the brakes fully in order to prevent a crash or at least to reduce the collision severity. How do they work? Modern vehicles […]

Electronic Stability Control

Drivers sometimes have to make a quick steering input in order to avoid a hazard. But, it's easy to steer too abruptly and cause the rear end of the vehicle to go into a spin, a situation automotive engineers call "oversteer". This is a particular problem when roads are slippery because of rain, snow or […]

Traction Control Systems

Traction control systems prevent wheel spin in slippery conditions when the vehicle needs to be accelerated. How do they work? Anti-lock braking systems use wheel speed sensors to identify when a rotating wheel is about to lock up so that the brake pressure can be reduced in order to keep the wheel rotating. Traction control […]