Are Smart Cars Really Safe? Safety with Tech in Smart Cars

When I was a kid, my sisters and I had a ton of sleepovers with our cousins. On the rare nights we weren’t playing video games, we would watch a lot of movies. At one such sleepover, we had a little movie marathon and watched all three Back to the Future movies. The first and third were fun, but I thought the second film was especially cool. It gave me a glimpse into what the future might look like: flying cars, hoverboards, holographic hats—what’s not to love?

Did you know that the future that Marty McFly visited was actually 2015? Wild, right? I don’t know about you, but my 2015 looked nothing like Back to the Future predicted.

Obviously the future turned out a little different than the movie’s director thought. Okay, a lot different. While we don’t have hoverboards or flying cars, we do have some pretty cool inventions—including smart cars. 

When I say smart cars, I don’t mean those little two-seater vehicles that you see zipping down the highway. Smart cars are the automobile equivalent of smartphones. They use high-end technology to make driving easier. Some smart cars even border on being completely self-driving! In fact, according to this article by Business Insider, studies project that there will be 14 million autonomous cars on the road as soon as 2025!

However, are smart cars really safe? What technology do they use, and are smart cars safe in accidents? Read on, and let’s find out!

What is the technology used in smart cars?

Smart cars use a lot of advanced technology to make driving easier and safer. First, let’s talk about tech that makes driving easier.

  • Many smart cars feature voice automation. Similar to how you can press a button on your iPhone and ask Siri to accomplish a task for you, smart cars have voice sensors that will do the same thing. Voice-recognition software lets drivers accomplish tasks like texting and calling without taking their eyes off the road.
  • Other smart cars use an OS system that completely integrates with your smartphone. Apple CarPlay, for example, lets you connect your iPhone to your car and use it completely hands free. You can get directions to your next destination, put on your favorite playlist, or answer a phone call without taking your hands off the wheel. Android Auto is the Android equivalent of this program.
  • Back-up cameras and 360-degree cameras are some of the newest technology on smart cars. These cameras help you see blind spots around your car that you would have a hard time seeing otherwise. They’re super helpful when you’re backing out of the driveway or parking in a busy parking lot.

What technology keeps you safe in a smart car?

Think about your own car: what is the most important safety feature on a car? Seatbelts, airbags, cushioned seats, and your car’s quick brakes all protect you when driving on the road. Smart cars have all these features—and more. 

Many modern vehicles use sensors to make your driving experience safer. These sensors detect objects around your car and react when things get too close. For example, if you have a smart car with front sensors and you get a little too close to the car in front of you, your vehicle will automatically slow down. 

Other cars use sensors to maintain your position within a lane. If you start to swerve out of those white lines on the freeway, the sensors will catch you and bring your car back into the lane. Similarly, many smart cars use Automatic Emergency Braking, or AEB, in case you get distracted. If the car in front of you stops, your car will use AEB to keep you from an unfortunate rear-ending situation.

Modern vehicles that keep the car in its lane, automatically slow down when you get too close to the car in front of you, or utilize hands-free emergency brakes are considered cars with driver assistance technologies.

Are smart cars safe in accidents?

Many smart cars are safe because they use sensor technology to make accidents few and far between. According to this study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, smart cars contribute to a lower quantity of accident reports. The number of accident reports in 2020 went down by 7% to 78%, depending on the technology that cars were able to utilize. 

Be aware, however, that while smart cars make accidents less frequent, you still need to be a safe driver. This means keeping an eye on the road and being aware of what other cars around you are doing. After all, smart cars still need a smart driver at the wheel!

If you do get into an accident, a smart car will likely protect you just as well as a regular car. However, it doesn’t hurt to look at safety ratings and make an informed decision about your car’s safety before getting behind the wheel. This brings us to the next question:

What is the number one safest car?

If you’re thinking about investing in a smart car, it’s important to ask, “What is the safety rating on a smart car?” 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2022 Honda Civic, 2021 Mazda 3, and 2021 Subaru Crosstrek are some of the safest sedan-sized cars. In regards to SUVs, the IIHS notes that the 2022 Hyundai Tucson, the 2021 Subaru Forester, and the 2021 Ford Explorer are pretty darn safe. If you’re on the hunt for a minivan, the IIHS recommends looking into the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, 2022 Honda Odyssey, or the 2021 Toyota Sienna.

If you want to look at the safety rating yourself, click on this link to see the IIHS’s list of 2022’s safest cars.

What about the safest smartphone for kids?

All this talk about safety and technology has me wondering: what is the safest smartphone for kids?

Why, Troomi, of course! Troomi phones are the best smartphone option for your kids and teens. Each phone features military grade security that protects your child’s information from hackers, phishers, and strangers on the internet. Troomi phones also grow with your children. Once they turn 16 and are ready to get behind the wheel, you can use Troomi’s Parent Portal to make sure you know where your teen has taken the family minivan. Click here to learn more!

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the Troomi blog for more tech tips and tricks.