Cars are safer today than ever before. Vehicles nowadays have safety features that people in years past could only dream of. In fact, vehicles on the road today are loaded with safety features that many of us are not even aware are part of our car. Yet, these safety devices save lives and help to blunt the force of a collision or crash. And, like all items in a car, truck or sport utility vehicle, the safety features of today have been built incrementally on top of safety measures introduced in years past. Here is a list of the 10 best automotive safety features of all time, and how they changed the way we drive.
10. Side View Mirrors
Believe it or not, side view mirrors were not always standard on cars and other vehicles. In fact, the first side view mirror was introduced in 1940 to coincide with the growing trend of twinning roads, or expanding them to include two or more lanes in one direction. However, side view mirrors did not become standard on cars in North America until the late 1960s. Up until that point, side view mirrors were considered a luxury and were offered as an option on most cars. Drivers who opted to have a side view mirror on their car usually only got one on the driver’s side door. A side view mirror mounted on the front passenger door was considered completely unnecessary. However, today, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Transport Canada each require side view mirrors on all vehicles—both on the driver and passenger doors. These mirrors help motorists see vehicles coming up behind them and on their side, and they are critically important when changing lanes. It is almost impossible to imagine driving without side view mirrors, but people did for nearly 50 years.