Previously Prime Meridian Direct (PMD) Prime Meridian Direct

A person sitting in the open boot of your vehicle featuring car safety features

Top modern car safety features and what they do

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, the good news is that car safety features are keeping pace. Feeling secure and protected every time you hit the road is a top priority, and staying informed about the latest vehicle safety systems is essential, especially when considering a new car purchase.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of car safety features, shedding light on how they work together to keep you safe and sound on South Africa’s roads.

What are car safety features?

Your safety relies on several critical components when you and your loved ones embark on a car journey. Alongside responsible driving, your vehicle’s engine, body, and tyres are crucial in keeping you out of harm’s way.

Car safety features encompass any part of the vehicle that reduces the likelihood of accidents and minimises their impact if they do occur. Therefore, they should be a top consideration when choosing a car.

Traditional or standard safety features

We often take traditional safety measures for granted, including seatbelts, shatterproof glass, headrests, and brake, turn, and headlights. These components are minimum safety requirements and must always be in perfect working order.

That’s why every vehicle in South Africa must pass a roadworthy test to ensure it’s safe to drive on the road. This checklist includes evaluating the essential safety measures such as the electrical systems, braking systems, steering wheel, and equipment such as mirrors and safety belts.

Anti-lock braking system

In addition to these traditional features, most modern vehicles come equipped with Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS). ABS prevents the wheels from locking up when you slam on the brakes in an emergency. Without ABS, you can continue sliding in your current direction, making it impossible to steer the vehicle effectively.

Electronic stability control

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is another standard safety feature you’re likely familiar with. This system helps you maintain control of your vehicle during curves and challenging steering situations by stabilising it when it deviates from the intended path.


Airbags have become standard in most cars, providing additional protection. Modern cars typically have between six and ten airbags strategically placed throughout the vehicle.

These airbags deploy within milliseconds of a collision, creating a cushion between passengers and the vehicle’s hard surfaces to minimise the accident’s impact.

Advanced car safety features

Fortunately, car safety features have made remarkable headway in ensuring your family’s safety while driving. Let’s explore some of the high-tech safety features available today, although advanced versions are continuously being rolled out.

Forward collision prevention

Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, but Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) paired with a Forward Collision Warning system (FCW) is designed to provide you with precious seconds to react.

FCW uses advanced systems to detect obstacles or slower-moving vehicles ahead and issues a warning. If you don’t respond in time, AEB intervenes by applying the brakes to prevent or reduce the impact of a collision. These features are true lifesavers on unpredictable roads.

Cruise control

Long drives on highways are a breeze with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). ACC maintains a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you, automatically adjusting your car’s speed as needed and ensuring you stick to the speed limit.

Traction control

Traction Control prevents your wheels from spinning when accelerating, especially on slippery or uneven terrain, contributing to a smoother and safer journey.

Headlight features

Driving at night can be challenging, but Automatic High Beams (AHB) simplify the process by adjusting headlight intensity based on traffic conditions, ensuring optimal visibility without blinding other drivers.

Lane assist features

Whether it’s helping you stay in your lane or change lanes safely, these advanced features are incredibly helpful. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) uses sensors to detect lane markings and warns if you unintentionally drift out of your lane.

Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) gently steers the vehicle back into the correct lane, ensuring you stay on course.

Additionally, Blind Spot Monitoring systems use sensors to detect vehicles in your blind spots and provide visual or auditory warnings when you attempt to change lanes.


Modern cars feature backup cameras, invaluable for showing what’s directly behind your vehicle while in reverse. Spotting objects in the camera or hearing the backup warning alert reduces the chances of collisions while reversing.

The Rear Cross Traffic Alert serves as an extra set of eyes, offering the driver assistance when backing out of a parking spot and warning you of approaching vehicles or pedestrians.

Your ultimate safety measure

While these systems are vital for your safety on South Africa’s roads, one safety feature stands out as the most crucial – car insurance. Along with financial protection, car insurance offers roadside assistance in times of accidents and emergencies.

Get covered today

Get the peace of mind you deserve by investing in reliable car insurance, like Prime South Africa, today and ensure your safety on every journey.

Contact Prime for a car insurance quote, and fill out this form to get advice on the best cover to suit your needs.


This article provides general information about car safety features. Always read the insurance policy thoroughly and ensure you understand what it says before making a purchase.

Remember only to buy car insurance through a certified financial services provider. Reach out to Prime today to learn more about getting affordable, comprehensive car insurance with fixed premiums* and a reduce-to-zero excess*. *Terms and conditions apply.

Fill in your details and we'll call you back before you know it!

Type your message here. We look forward to hearing from you.

Full Name(Required)

Fill in your details and we'll get back to you as soon as possible

Thank you!

We’ll be in touch soon!