Sometimes, whether or not you’re a good driver is less important than the weather you’re driving in. Of the nearly 6.2 million traffic accidents that occur a year, approximately one million are weather-related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Fortunately, newer vehicles are now equipped with sophisticated technology solutions to help drivers navigate through a variety of weather conditions safely.
Before you get caught in the next storm or even rain shower, take time to think through the poor weather conditions you may encounter and what you need to do to stay safe.
• Take a Brake: If you’ve ever had your brakes lock up on slippery surfaces, you know why to look for vehicles with Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS). With this technology, drivers can apply maximum brake pressure without fear of locking up the tires or skidding out of control.
• Burnin’ Rubber: To keep your wheels from spinning on slippery surfaces, look for vehicles with Traction Control Systems (TCS). This technology prevents wheels from spinning during acceleration on normal or slippery surfaces by applying brakes to all four wheels. The newest version of this technology, called All-Speed Traction Control, decreases excess engine power to give you the best acceleration on slippery surfaces.
• The Straight and Narrow: You’re less likely to go off the road or lose control of your vehicle after swerving to miss something ahead in a vehicle with an Electronic Stability Program (ESP). This system keeps vehicles moving in the intended direction of travel by applying selective throttle and braking to the appropriate wheels to get the vehicle back on course. This is especially important when driving on mixed surface conditions, such as snow, sleet, ice or gravel, but works on all surfaces.
• Stop, Drop and Roll: If vehicle rollover is a concern, look for vehicles with Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM). If driving conditions approach a rollover scenario, ERM applies a burst of full-braking power to the appropriate wheel to help stabilize the vehicle.
While the latest technology systems operate automatically, it is important for drivers to understand their vehicle’s safety and technology features according to leading safety experts at the Chrysler Group.
“Taking the time to understand the latest safety technology available in new vehicles will give consumers the knowledge they need to face the varying weather conditions,” said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President Product Development, Chrysler Group. “These features will help drivers and passengers stay safe and will help reduce the number of weather-related traffic accidents that occur on the road.”