Car Safety and Regulatory Devices

In the Safety & Regulatory Devices section you'll find tools and technology intended to keep drivers and passengers safe, from car seats and airbags to red-light camera technology.


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How the Cadillac Safety Alert Seat Works

When you're driving, your eyes are on the road, your hands are busy steering the car, and your feet are making you stop and go. So what part of your body could still take in new information?

How Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Work

You may have noticed that one of the lights on your console is shaped like a tire with an exclamation point in the middle. This is a tire pressure monitoring system, which lets you know if your tires are underinflated.

What is the purpose of a seatbelt pretensioner?

Few of us will ever have to bail out of a fighter jet mid-flight; however, it's comforting to know that similar seatbelt technology will keep you anchored during a head-on car collision.

How are cars making the blind spot less dangerous?

Every auto manufacturer approaches the problem of blind-spot detection in a slightly different manner. Some are high-tech and others are low-tech. Which do you prefer?

How Head-up Displays Work

Head-up displays are much more than just a novelty or a new way of viewing navigation directions. In fact, HUDs could very well be one of the best safety systems your car has ever seen.

5 Benefits of the LATCH System for Car Seats

The LATCH system makes it easier to select and install a car seat. But there are still important choices for you to make -- and actions for you to take -- to ensure your child's safety.

How to Adjust Your Mirrors to Minimize Your Blind Spot

That pesky hiding place near your car's rear fenders is known as the blind spot -- and yes, it's dangerous. But if you follow these mirror adjustment tips, it'll never bother you again.

How Speed Limiters Work

You can probably guess what a speed limiter does by its name alone. But how do they actually work? And why would someone want to limit a car's top speed, anyway?

How Whiplash-injury-lessening Seats Work

If you're old enough, you remember when people would walk around with neck braces as a form of whiplash treatment. But as automotive technology advances, whiplash may no longer be an issue.

How Electronic Throttle Control Systems Work

It used to be easy to make your car go faster -- just step on the accelerator, and the throttle would manually open. Today, many cars use electronic throttle control. What does it take for sensors and computers to control a car's speed?

How Brake Override Systems Work

If your car starts speeding out of control, your natural response is to step on the brake. But what if that doesn't stop your car? A brake override system is one way to bring things to a stop.

Have new technologies made cars less safe?

Today, the average new car has between 30 and 80 electronic control systems under the hood. With technology-based recalls making headlines, it's easy to wonder: Is all this technology making cars more dangerous?

How Side Curtain Airbags Work

In the next few years, side curtain airbags will be a key safety feature in most new cars. How do they complement traditional airbags to keep you safe on the road?

How Electronic Stability Control Works

German auto supplier Bosch developed the first electronic stability control system in the mid-1990s. Decades later, most cars and SUVs are equipped with electronic stability control as standard equipment.

How Electronic Brake Force Distribution Works

An electronic brake force distribution system determines the exact amount of brake force required at each wheel during any braking situation. But how does the system precisely modulate the brake force?

How Hill-Start Control Works

Your car or truck could be equipped with hill-start control and you probably wouldn't even know it was there. But don't underestimate the importance of this system that operates in the background.

How Automotive Glass Works

When you watch car commercials, you always hear automakers tout their vehicles' safety features. However, they rarely mention the most important one of all -- the glass that keeps you inside.

How Brake Assist Works

If you've ever slammed on the brakes to barely avoid a collision, you know full well how important brake assist can be. Brake assist helps stop a vehicle faster to avoid crashes.

How Drive-by-wire Technology Works

It's a technology that's been well-tested in the aviation industry for nearly two decades. So, why are automakers reluctant to bring drive-by-wire technology to the showroom floor -- or are they?

How Steering Wheel Controls Work

Multi-function steering wheels are improving automotive safety simply by placing the most commonly used electronic controls in a very convenient place -- right at the driver's fingertips.

How Pre-Collision Systems Work

A pre-collision detection system sounds like something out of a science fiction film; however, these systems have actually been around for several years. So, what kinds of systems are available today?

How Car Testing Works

Car testing is more than strapping a dummy to the driver's seat and releasing the brake. Engineers conduct myriad secret tests to assess everything from engine performance to design.

What is positive force chassis control?

Computerized stability systems for your car won't magically steer you clear of an out-of-control vehicle, but they can keep an eye on road conditions and vehicle performance.

5 Ways to Recycle a Seatbelt

Have you ever wondered what happens to your old seatbelt? They can't be recycled in cars for safety reasons, but they often find new lives as clothing, furniture and even artwork.

If airbags are so safe, why doesn't my car have more?

Airbags are everywhere. You can find them in the front and on both sides of your car. Vehicles now have tubular airbags, knee airbags and even outside airbags to protect pedestrians. How much safety is too much?