For years Detroit, Silicon Valley, and tech futurists around the country have been promising self-driving cars that are safer and more reliable than cars driven by people. While it might seem to some as though the pace of progress toward such a future has been slower than expected, a number of impressive safety features have started to become more widespread on many different vehicles.

To be sure, the safety features of yesteryear, things like anti-lock brakes and airbags, are still very important and carmakers are still putting the necessary resources into those technologies. However, many of the latest and greatest safety tech features in cars have the potential to save even more lives.

Here are six of the most important safety features for cars.

Blind Spot Monitoring

One of the most dangerous things about driving is that you can’t always see every car you are sharing the road with. Oftentimes, right when you are about to change lanes on the freeway, you’ll look over your shoulder and finally see that car or truck that has been hanging out where you couldn’t see it. 

Unfortunately, it is all too common for drivers to not see the car in their blind spot and the subsequent lane change leads to a collision.

Blind spot monitoring has been proven to reduce such crashes significantly by using sensors in the rearview mirrors and tailgate of care to alert drivers when a car is in their blind spot. If you can get blind spot monitoring on the car you are looking at buying, it is well worth any extra cost.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control is another safety feature that has become popular over the last few years and uses sensors to monitor the distance between cars. In fact, adaptive cruise control is even more interactive than blind spot monitoring as it actually increases or decreases your speed to keep a predetermined distance between your car and the car in front of you.

Obviously, adaptive cruise control is most helpful when on longer trips or when sitting in heavy traffic.

Lane Departure Warning

Lane departure warning systems work to keep vehicles in their lane and not drift into adjacent lanes of traffic. Using sensors, the system will alert you if it senses the vehicle is drifting into another lane. 

Lane departure warning is helpful when drivers are tired or distracted and has the potential to prevent untold car accidents.

Lane Keep Assist

Many lane departure warning systems are coupled with lane keep assist, a technology that will actually begin to move the car back into its assigned lane of traffic if it senses the vehicle is starting to drift. 

Lane keep assist makes slight, gradual adjustments to keep a vehicle in the center of its lane and is a great example of a technology that can do some of the driving for you. It is also very effective at preventing collisions and one of the most important safety features on cars today.

Autonomous Emergency Braking

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is another important technology and one that can greatly reduce the rate of collisions and injuries. With AEB systems, the vehicle will sense when a collision is imminent and automatically apply the brakes. The speed at which the system can start braking is often much faster than a human can brake.

AEB is so effective at reducing collisions that a 2014 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 400,000 injuries could have been prevented that year if the vehicles involved in the crashes had been outfitted with autonomous emergency braking technology.

Rearview Camera

One of the tensest moments for drivers isn’t when they are racing 70 miles per hour down the freeway, but when they are backing out of a driveway at less than ten miles per hour. When drivers can’t see behind them, the possibility of hitting another vehicle, bike, or person (especially a child) is very real.

However, rearview cameras that use wide-angle lenses and are displayed on large screens in the center console have helped take the stress out of and increased the overall safety of such situations. Drivers are able to brake much more quickly when they can actually see an object or person behind them.

Still Not Perfect

Even if you have a car with all of these safety features and more, it doesn’t mean you won’t get into an accident. No driver and no car is perfect. If you have been in an accident and suffered injuries as a result, contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to see if you might be due compensation to help cover the costs related to your injuries.