Some of us are still driving around with in-car cigarette lighters, cassette players, and windows you have to roll down by hand. While there are many advantages to driving around an old (or even vintage) car, the fact is that there are many safety features in modern cars that make these vehicles look like clunkers.
Today’s cars are outfitted with backup cameras, motion sensors, and touchscreen dashboards that are designed to improve passengers’ safety. However, before deciding to run out to the dealership and trade in your car, here are six cool gadgets that can make your car safer.
Portable Backup Cameras
If you’re still looking in the rearview mirror when you’re backing up, you’re behind on the dtimes. Nowadays, you can actually buy a backup camera that allows you to see what’s behind you.
You can look for these products on Amazon or at your local retailer. Essentially, the camera comes in two parts. The first part is the camera itself that you can mount on the backend of your car. The second part is the screen that allows you to see where you’re going.
Depending on which product you buy, the set-up may require batteries or you can plug it directly into your vehicle’s charging ports.
Rear-end collisions account for nearly one-third of all traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Oftentimes, these accidents are caused when the rear strikes the one in front of it.
Now, when you come too close to a vehicle or fixed object, certain cars emit high-pitched “beeps.” This allows the driver to adjust their driving speed or brake.
You can buy a motion sensor for your car online. You can attach it to either the front or rear end of your vehicle. When you come within a certain distance, the sensor will alert you to a possible hazard.
Some products allow you to adjust just what a safe driving distance is. Others come with pre-determined distances determined by the products’ engineers.
As with the previously mentioned backup cameras, you can purchase these products online or through a retailer. Depending on what type of car you have, you may be able to purchase this product through your car’s dealership.
Window Breaker and Glass Cutter
According to Consumer Reports, about 100 people each year die from flooding incidents while in their cars. This could be due to misjudging the depth of puddles or being trapped in flash floods. The Orlando Sentinel says that during a five-year period in Florida alone, almost 50 people died after driving into bodies of water, like lakes, ponds, and the ocean.
When your car is surrounded by water on all sides, it is extremely difficult to open the door. Even then, if you can pry the door open, you will be overwhelmed with a torrent of rushing water. Yet, if you find yourself in this situation, not all hope is lost.
You can buy a window breaker/glass cutter combo tool. This device allows you to smash your window from the inside and make your escape. If your car is overturned or you cannot unfasten your seatbelt, many of these devices come with razor blades that slice through seatbelts like ribbon.
Depending on which device you get, some of these tools come with flashlights. This can be extremely useful if water prevents your interior lights from coming on in an emergency.
A Dashboard Smartphone Holder
If your car has a built-in dashboard, with a simple tap of your finger, you can choose between music streaming services, send text messages, and plan your route. With some newer cars, many of these features can be activated through smart assistants.
However, if you are still driving around the car you’ve had since high school, your vehicle may not have this upgrade. This might cause you to rely on your phone rather than keep your eyes on the road.
While opting for a built-in dashboard console can cost you thousands of dollars, you can simply mount your phone to your car’s dashboard. You can buy one of these devices for less than $10.
You could also give a mounting device that would allow you to charge your phone while it is in use. This could certainly give you better peace of mind if you are driving in the dark on a lone country road.
A Cell Phone Signal Booster
It’s late at night when suddenly your car dies. You start to pull out your cell phone just as you pull over to the side of the road. As you unlock your phone and start to dial for help, you realize something: you do not have service.
While a cell phone signal booster does not make your car itself safe, it certainly can go a long way in keeping you safe. This product basically:
- Allows you to maintain signal even in remote locations
- Allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot
- Allows you to make calls and send messages
Before buying a signal booster, you will need to make sure that it is compatible with your phone and service provider. Additionally, while these devices may plug into your car’s charging outlets, it may also require batteries.
According to the NHTSA, drunk driving claims the lives of 28 people a day. The only thing worse than getting hit by a drunk driver is being the negligent party yourself.
Whether you are planning a wild night out with friends or just want to keep yourself in check, you can buy battery-powered breathalyzer online. Simply power on the device, attach the plastic nozzle, and blow into it for about 10 seconds. Almost instantly, you will get a reading that displays your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
These devices are small and can even fit in your glovebox. Instead of worrying about flashing lights in your rearview mirror, this device can either put your mind at ease or let you decide whether your friend should drive.
You Can Buy Gadgets to Keep You and Your Car Safe
Many devices that come standard with newer cars are available for purchase online. Whether you are planning a cross-country trip or a night on the town, consider how the above products could keep both you and your car in motion.