Every year more than 38,000 people are killed in car accidents in America. On top of that, more than 4 million are injured. These statistics make the U.S. one of the most dangerous places to drive among developed nations. 

The good news about these troubling numbers is that every year new safety technologies are developed and added to more and more vehicles. And because of existing technologies and laws designed to protect drivers and passengers, traffic fatalities have been on a downward trend since peaking in the ‘60s and ‘70s at more than 50,000 deaths per year.

To help keep you safe when you are on the road, here are five of the most important safety features every car should have.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are the single most important safety feature every car should have. In fact, cars are legally required to have them. Seat belts are so prevalent they aren’t even considered an extra safety feature by many. 

However, seat belts only work if you wear them. While many states have adopted laws requiring drivers and passengers to wear seat belts or face a fine, there is still room for improvement in compliance.

Airbags

Airbags are another safety feature that have been widely adopted and are responsible for saving countless lives. Many cars today not only have airbags located in the front of the vehicle, but on the sides as well.

Between seat belts and airbags, drivers are far safer today than they were several decades ago. 

Adaptive Headlights

Adaptive headlights are a more subtle and more recent safety feature that has proven to be effective at reducing the number of collisions at night. Nighttime driving is notoriously dangerous. With adaptive headlights, drivers can see the road better without causing their lights to produce a blinding glare in the eyes of oncoming drivers.

Anti-Lock Brakes

Another exterior safety feature that helps keep people safe on the road is anti-lock brakes. Unlike airbags and seat belts which primarily keep drivers and passengers safe in the event of an accident, anti-lock brakes prevent accidents altogether. 

Anti-lock brakes are especially effective in less than ideal driving conditions—which is exactly when accidents are more likely to occur. Countless drivers have been able to stop and keep from sliding into an intersection thanks to anti-lock brakes.

Electronic Stability Control

Electronic stability control is another safety feature that can keep a car from slipping and sliding on the road. When both electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are in good working order on a vehicle, it can greatly reduce the risk of being in an accident.

Bonus Safety Features

In addition to these top five safety features, driver-assist safety technologies such as adaptive cruise control and lane departure assist are becoming increasingly common—and important. While not every car will have these features for years to come, those that do are much safer. Drivers are far less likely to get into an accident when the car is working with them to prevent a collision. 

What To Do if You Are in an Accident

Even if you have the latest and greatest car with all the bells and whistles, you still could be injured in a car accident. If that happens to you, it might be a good idea to consider hiring a qualified personal injury attorney to see if you could be eligible for compensation to help cover the costs for things like damage to your car, medical bills, and even pain and suffering.

A good lawyer is a great addition to a complete safety package and will protect your family from suffering financial harm.