Home Cars These Dangerous Car Features Somehow Made The Cut

These Dangerous Car Features Somehow Made The Cut

Cameron Eittreim May 25, 2023

In the automotive industry, technology is always improving and evolving. Yet sometimes, this technology goes overboard and ends up being dangerous. Safety is a major priority when it comes to driving and that’s especially true when it comes to new advances. But there are times when new technology comes into play way too fast. This has been the case in many different instances in the automotive industry where things turned catastrophic. Innovation is great, but automakers often take things too far.

The Ford Pinto was one such instance of a car design that went wrong. The rear fuel tank was prone to failure and explosions. This ended up being one of the costliest lawsuits in automotive history and there were many deaths behind it. The same thing happened when SUV models began to rise in popularity. Isuzu was at the center of controversy when their Trooper and Samurai SUV models were tipping over during average driving situations. Things like these catastrophes put a damper on the automotive industry. To help drivers avoid the same mistakes in the future, we looked at dangerous car features that somehow made the cut.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Pinto’s Rear Gas Tank

Perhaps the most notorious mistake that ever happened in the auto industry involved the Ford Pinto. When they designed the car, Ford incorporated a rear fuel tank that exploded upon impact. This flaw in the design was only found later on after the car was involved in dozens of situations where the tank exploded. The situation got to be so dire that Ford had to settle with thousands of drivers, costing the company millions (via Tort Law).

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The flaw made the car susceptible to fires and explosions in the event of a rear-end collision. Tragically, some accidents resulted in injuries and even fatalities. The Pinto explosions sparked widespread concern about product safety and led to important changes in automotive safety standards. These incidents serve as a reminder of the importance of rigorous testing and design scrutiny to ensure the safety of consumers.

Photo Credit: Tesla

Blind Spots

Blind spots are a real thing in today’s modern era of car design. It’s often the rear end of the vehicle that is the hardest to see out of nowadays. Sharp window designs, tinted windows, and even worse visibility are just some of the drawbacks. Sure, these vehicles often look great from the outside, but the blind spot is just too dangerous to ignore. There have been many instances of young children being run over right in front of their driveways due to blind spots (via Driving Ford).

Photo Credit: Tesla

They can be dangerous because they can hide other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects. Every vehicle has blind spots, and it’s crucial for drivers to be aware of them and take precautions. To check for blind spots, drivers can glance over their shoulders to get a better view before changing lanes or making a turn. Even though automakers are incorporating new camera and safety systems, it just isn’t enough without looking out.

Photo Credit: Tesla

Autonomous Driving

Every automaker in the world has touted autonomous driving recently. It is the type of technology that improves the lives of everyone. The idea is that it will cut back dramatically on drivers falling asleep at the wheel. The problem is that autonomous driving has left an opening for drivers to fall asleep at the wheel. There have been dozens of cases of drivers behind the wheel of Tesla vehicles falling asleep (via Trimble).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Another problem with autonomous driving aside from the fact that it’s dangerous is the fact that it’s eliminating driving jobs. While autonomous driving technology holds tremendous potential, concerns about its safety cannot be overlooked. Despite significant advancements, there are still challenges to overcome before fully replacing human taxi drivers with autonomous vehicles. One more major concern is the ability of these vehicles to effectively navigate complex and unpredictable driving scenarios.

Photo Credit: Motorious

Seat Belt Sensors

Seat belt sensors are designed to hold you in place during an accident. The problem is that a lot of times these sensors will not allow the seatbelt to engage when the car is in motion. On top of that the seatbelt sensor also makes it difficult to remove the belt in the case of an accident. For a lot of drivers, this has been a deadly situation during life-threatening events such as a car crashing into a lake (via Safety Restore).

Photo Credit: Motorious

These sensors can detect whether a seatbelt is fastened or not, providing important information for vehicle safety systems and reminding occupants to buckle up for their protection. But it’s safe to say that the designers didn’t think of all of the drawbacks that come with seatbelt sensors as well. These are simple car features that you might overlook and even think that they are safe but it’s quite the opposite in some situations.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Infotainment Systems

Few drivers think the thing that gives us such pleasure could be a problem. Yet that beautiful infotainment system in the center of your dashboard could become just that. Infotainment systems have been at the center of controversy for some time. The main problem is what’s displayed on the screen and how the driver can access it. Many drivers have gotten in trouble behind the wheel by being distracted and watching TV or not paying attention to the road (via Autoweek).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

As cars get more advanced these infotainment systems only increased in size. Most new vehicles have a massive tablet-like screen on the dashboard. The complex interfaces, touchscreen controls, and extensive features of these systems can require significant cognitive and visual engagement, increasing the risk of accidents and compromising overall driving safety.

Photo Credit: Tesla

Ultra Bright Headlights

We’re sure you’ve seen those ultra-bright headlights that are coming straight toward you a time or two. And while bright headlights are a great thing for the person who’s driving the car, they are not so great for other cars on the road. In recent years, automotive headlights have been getting brighter and brighter. Part of the reason for this has been the rise of LED lighting and blue headlights in popularity (via Slate).

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

Ultra-bright headlights, although they provide enhanced visibility for the driver, can also pose a safety risk to other road users. The intense brightness can cause temporary blindness or discomfort to oncoming drivers, potentially leading to accidents or impaired reaction times. Proper adjustment and consideration of other drivers’ safety are essential to mitigate potential hazards. Unfortunately, most automotive manufacturers and other drivers don’t factor this into their purchases.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Red Turn Signals

Virtually every car that you see on the road nowadays has red turn signals, but do you remember the amber-colored ones? Sometime in the 2000s, the automakers decided to phase amber turn signals out. Nissan is one of the few manufacturers that still offer amber-colored turn signals on their vehicles. Even the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that Amber-colored turn signals result in fewer accidents (via Car Place).

Photo Credit: Jeep

But the problem persists and most automotive manufacturers don’t want to get rid of them. Instead, you have drivers who often mistake the red color turn signals for brake lamps or even worse. Red turn signals are one of the most unsafe features on a modern car and yet they’re here to stay.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Dark Paint Jobs

More automakers than ever before are experimenting with new paint schemes. But these darker-colored paint jobs are even more difficult to see at night. Coupled with the rise in blind spots due to radical exterior designs and you have a recipe for disaster. Most new cars have some sort of a fancy paint job. But it’s the dark ones that are the most notable, which is why the insurance rates are higher (via Phycho Autos).

Photo Credit: Ferrari

Then you have some cars that are only offered with a few special paint schemes. There is no law against having a dark paint job, which is why most enthusiasts go for them. But the visibility at night is a major flaw that even automakers don’t realize. It doesn’t look like dark paint jobs are going to go anywhere.

Photo Credit: Ford

Lane Tracing Assist

Some cars now have lane tracing assist, which is a feature to help the driver merge into the next lane. The problem is that a good portion of the roads around rural America doesn’t have the best roads, and oftentimes the lane isn’t visible. So in an area like that the lane tracing assist system can be quite a deadly combination. Because if the driver isn’t paying attention they will careen into the next lane at a higher rate of speed (via Consumer Reports).

Photo Credit: Lincoln

Another problem is that the cameras on these systems can become dirty and stop working correctly. A lot of drivers don’t maintain these systems how they should, and that becomes a problem too. The lane tracing assist system is a great way to make sure that the driver is safe, but that’s only when the system is working correctly. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to make these systems safer.

Photo Credit: Lincoln

Blind Spot Detection

Blind spot detection is another thing that was implemented to help the driver, but a lot of the time it doesn’t work. There are still blind spots that even an advanced system can’t recognize and it becomes a problem. There have been instances where small children have been run over because the system didn’t recognize them. Automakers are working to advance this technology but it has been slow (via Consumer Reports).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

These features are making it onto more vehicles but that doesn’t mean that they work the correct way. There is still a lot of advancement to be done on this technology than just slapping some cameras on the rear end of a car. Blind spot detection systems are making drivers much lazier and in turn, causing safety issues for other drivers.

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