Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Immediate protection from death and disability….Today's post:  Tuesday, 2-27-2018

When I was younger seat belts were quite new and few cars had them.

The brilliant engineer father of a young man my age had installed them in his car.

We were going someplace in that car and I sat on my seat belt.  His dad asked me why I hadn’t put it on.  I replied that we were just going a few blocks.

He said, “Oh! So you know when you will be in an accident then!”

That made me stop and think as he meant it to do.

I’ve since discovered that a large part of driving and often most of it happens on such short trips to familiar places.  So your chances of being in an accident “going just a few blocks” at relatively low speeds are actually quite high during your driving and car riding experience. Two to seven such accidents over time are actually quite common!

Worse, in such accidents, seat belts almost always make sure you can walk away from the accident with only some bruises at worst.  But you can die or be disabled for life in seconds if you are NOT wearing your seat belt.

Now, most people do wear their seat belts and even drive or ride in cars with mostly safe airbags.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the many such accidents that happen and even freeway accidents never happened in the first place because your car has safety features that prevent them?

Now many cars do have such features.  And almost every accident my wife and I have been in would not have happened had we been driving a newer car with these safety features.

Although Tesla cars and others are comparable now, a few decades ago, only Volvo made a car that would enable you to survive a bad freeway crash and walk away from it.

An acquaintance’s wife was driving all their children in an older Volvo station wagon on the freeway.  Somehow someone cut them off in a way that caused the Volvo to roll over and over bashing its corners in the process.  They were all wearing their seat belts and were uninjured and walked away!   In a less crash resistant car, they would have all been dead.

Our daughter was driving her older Volvo in the rain on the freeway when a semi slammed into her from the side so hard it bashed her car into the median divider.  The g forces were such that even with her seat belt her wrist and knee and back were injured.  But with good medical care she made a full recovery.  In a less crash resistant car, she would have been dead.

So I am loyal to Volvos for a reason!

Since then my wife and I got a 2012 Volvo S60. 

While driving it we have been in several surprisingly expensive fender bender accidents that safety features newer Volvos you can now get would have prevented entirely!

My wife and I have each had accidents where we thought we had clearance to go around and were in a hurry.  Those were quite expensive to fix.  Now you can get a Volvo that will slam on the brakes if you start to do that.

(Many of the accidents on our freeways now that cause even worse damage and lost lives are from people driving without paying attention at freeway speed and slamming into cars stopped on the freeway.  If those cars had this safety feature these accidents would be avoided or they would have been reduced enough the deaths and injuries would be far less.)

I yelled at my wife just in time once when she was about to do that.  And once by the time I realized she was not stopping for a car in front of us she bumped into it mercifully with virtually no damage.  But this feature would have protected us both times!

Similarly, many parking lot accidents or those that kill toddlers and pets are from backing up when the rear view mirror is clear but the toddlers and pets are below that field of vision.  Now you can get a rear camera as an option where you see at the level of toddlers and pets so that no longer happens!

Those cameras also prevent common parking lot backup accidents!  Many people don’t see cars moving to behind them or miss them in the rear view mirror.  They delay slightly in backing up and by that time that car IS behind them.  With the rear camera you see that happening soon enough to stop!  (That feature would have prevented two of my accidents!)

There are also times that you are driving on the freeway and realize you are sleepy but believe you can get home or to where you are going.  Volvo now has a feature you can turn on that will keep you from drifting out of your lane thus avoiding driving into bridge supports!  And, it will give an alarm that may wake you if it needs to do this too much.

This feature alone could cut the death rate on freeways and expressways in half!

I asked Volvo to email me a link that describes the features you can get now.

And, they sent me this: 

The new Volvo XC90 (Available since 2015) was the first to have the 360-degree camera viewing available.

A good rundown of its features and options inside and out and what has then followed as standard or options on Volvo models since then is here:


The list of features shown also lists several that protect you if are IN an accident as well as those that can help you prevent the most common accidents entirely!

Enjoy your driving  and  trips and travel safe!

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