While cars have become increasingly safer, there are still dangers that are lurking in the design. With all the modern conveniences vehicles now offer, it’s important to make sure they are all working properly and safely.

Power windows are a great modern feature in today’s cars, but if you have small children, they can also be a hazard. The power windows on today’s cars can operate at 30-80lbs of force depending on the make and model of the car. A small child’s trachea can break with a force of only 22lbs. Many cars are equipped with an auto-reverse feature. To test yours take a roll of towels and close the window to see if it goes back down when it senses the towel roll. Another item to check on your car is the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock or BTSI. This safety feature doesn’t allow the transmission to be put into gear without having your foot on the brake. Testing this is as simple as trying to move the transmission into gear without pressing down on the brake pedal. Keyless entry and start is another place to focus your attention. Modern cars now have the ability to start and stop without ever putting a key in the ignition, a key fob is all that is required. While this is convenient, it can also be dangerous if you park your car in a garage and forget to turn it off. The care will emit carbon dioxide into your home and the gas can be deadly. The best way to prevent this is by installing a CO2 detector to warn you and your family if the car is still running.

Being in your car is one thing, but you never want to be trapped inside it. While this scenario seems unlikely, with flooding and unpredictable weather patterns, these scenarios can come up quickly. One simple tool to have on hand for escaping from a vehicle is a window breaker. The small tools can be carried on a key chain and can come equipped with a seat belt cutting blade and a blunt end to break out a car window. The fairly inexpensive tool can mean the difference between life and death. Another item to check for is something that actually comes equipped on car models 2002 and newer. Look in the trunk of the car for a glow-in-the-dark trunk release. Sometimes this is a button or a pull handle located near the center of the inside of the trunk. Checking to make sure your vehicle is safe and includes some simple tools is just one small way to keep you and your family safe. Everyone always hopes never to run into any trouble, but being prepared is just a part of modern life.