What Does Your Car Do for You?? What To Look for in a New Car

I got my license in 1997 after a year of driving on my temporary permit. My Mom & Dad wanted to make sure that I had plenty of practice before driving on my own; knowing how to merge into traffic, when to go or stop when the light turns yellow (that was a rough one for me), and of course parking. Since I’m still here 19 years later – I guess I did an OK job. But not everything went so smoothly.


When I was 17 portable GPS systems were not available. We got places by using handy dandy road maps, and eventually online help like Mapquest. I remember taking my little sister with me to pick up balloons and a cake for one of our family members birthdays. It was one of the first times I was on the interstate by myself, and I had no idea which way was home. East and West was a foreign concept to me (and to be honest, still pretty much is). I figured that I could just pick one way and eventually I’d see something I’d recognize… and I was right. After completely looping the i275 loop instead of going the opposite way and getting on the right exit – 2 hours later we were home. I’m pretty sure that I will never live that story down; and thankfully I didn’t take us anywhere we shouldn’t have been. But what a time waster right? After my trip to Florida from Cincinnati just a few weeks ago I realized that I would have never made it without my GPS. . and a few other tech features.

Which got me thinking, What do you look for when buying a new vehicle?


GPS. When a GPS is installed in your vehicle, you don’t have to worry about forgetting it, it getting lost, or someone borrowing it. It usually has a voice activation which means you don’t have to worry about pushing buttons or trying to select a location while you drive. Safety first!


Back-up Cameras. Where have you been all my life?? Though I don’t 100% rely on these cameras (you still need to look because people or pets can come from the sides where your camera doesn’t see) this helps give you a direct view behind your vehicle – which can be extremely helpful if you are driving a larger vehicle where it would be hard to see little kids in the rear view mirror. Some even help ‘direct’ you to show you where you are headed as you back up based on the way your steering wheel is turned (I think this will help a lot of soon-to-be drivers with their maneuverability test!)

family in the car

Lane Change Notification. The first time I drove a vehicle with this feature it was when I rented a SUV to take the kids and my best friend to Myrtle Beach. I thought I was going crazy at first – each time I changed a lane (or started to veer towards the line) my seat vibrated on that side! If I veered to the left, the left side vibrated, and then if I did to the right, the right vibrated. This is a great feature, especially for long drives!


What other car safety features help you keep you and your family safe on the road??


#MyCarDoesWhat4Me is a national campaign to help educate drivers on new vehicle safety technologies designed to help prevent crashes. These technologies range from increasing the stability and control of cars to providing warnings about crash threats to automatically intervening to avoid or reduce the severity of a crash.

The campaign’s website, MyCarDoesWhat.org, includes educational videos and other information about a variety of safety technologies including back-up cameras, blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision alerting and other systems that help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of a crash.

The National Safety Council and the University of Iowa partnered to launch MyCarDoesWhat to educate the public on how to best interact with these safety features to have better, safer driving experiences. #MyCarDoesWhat4Me



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