Make driver-assist safety features a high priority when vehicle shopping: Manitoba Public Insurance

In an effort to promote safer driving and reduce the number of motor vehicle collisions on our roadways, Manitoba Public Insurance encourages all Manitobans to consider the benefits of driver-assist safety features when shopping for a new or used vehicle.

“While exterior colour, interior design, engine size and optional convenience features are common criteria when deciding on a new or used vehicle, the driver-assist safety features available in many of today’s models should also be an important consideration,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance.

Driver-assist safety features include back-up cameras, blind spot detection warning systems, lane departure warning and correction systems, adaptive headlights and automatic braking systems, to name just a few.

“When understood and used appropriately, these technologies can assist drivers in avoiding collisions. Fewer collisions ultimately affects the insurance premiums all vehicle owners and drivers pay,” added Keith.

Based on a recent poll of Manitobans conducted by Manitoba Public Insurance, it is clear that many Manitobans are not fully aware of how driver-assist safety features in vehicles work in conjunction with the driver to reduce collision risk. However the same poll revealed that once a brief description of the features was provided, the majority of those surveyed believed that driver-assist safety features would help reduce the risk of a family member being involved in a serious collision.

Various vehicle manufacturers may call these technologies by different names and options may work differently or have varying capabilities, depending on the vehicle’s manufacturer. As such, people in the market for a new or used vehicle are encouraged to do a little research to understand what vehicle safety features are offered, and how they work.

To assist, Manitoba Public Insurance recently launched a new public awareness campaign designed to provide Manitobans with information to better understand the driver-assist safety features available in many vehicles, and how these features can reduce collision risk.

“Our objective with this campaign is to give Manitobans the information they need to help make informed decisions when buying a new or used vehicle,” said Keith. “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and while drivers are ultimately responsible for the care and control of vehicles on our roads, driver-assist safety features can be very helpful in keeping drivers alert and preventing collisions due to driver error.”

Some vehicle safety features to look for:

  • Electronic stability control (ESC) – helps you maintain control if you begin to skid.
  • Anti-lock brakes – prevents lock-ups and skidding, even in slippery conditions, and allows you to maintain control during emergency braking.
  • Back-up cameras – a video camera attached to the rear of your vehicle provides a visual display directly behind your vehicle when reversing.
  • Lane departure warning system – alerts you if you’re about to drift into another lane when your turn signal isn’t on.
  • Blind-spot detection system – senses vehicles in blind spots behind or alongside you.
  • Forward collision avoidance system – uses sensors to detect speed and distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Some systems include automatic emergency braking functionality.
  • Adaptive cruise control – automatically adjusts the speed of your vehicle in relation to the vehicle ahead to maintain a safe following distance.
  • Adaptive headlights – swivel to illuminate the path you are driving rather than aiming straight ahead, to increase visibility around curves or over hills.
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