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How well do you know your car’s safety features?

We often write about the ways in which technology is changing the driving experience – for better and worse. On one hand, drivers who text and use handheld electronic devices put themselves and others at risk of a serious accident. On the other hand, automobile safety technology is constantly improving, allowing the car itself to detect danger and sometimes compensate for human error.

Of course, great safety technology may only be helpful if it is put to use. And according to the results of a recent survey, a significant number of Americans have never heard of certain safety features that may already be in their vehicles.

In a survey of more than 2,000 people, the vast majority of respondents were aware of cruise control and anti-lock brakes. Both features have been standard for decades. But what do you know about adaptive cruise control – the feature that allows a vehicle to maintain a set distance from the car in front of it? If you are just hearing about it for the first time, you're not alone. Approximately 65 percent of the survey participants admitted that they didn't know what it was.

Other safety features are a bit more recognizable, or at least have self-explanatory names. Features like lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring and back-up cameras were more recognizable, but many drivers may still not know if such features are included in their vehicles.

Hopefully, you have taken the time to do some research in order to better understand what features your car has to offer. If you haven't, feel free to check out websites like MyCarDoesWhat.org.

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