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High Tech Options Keep Drivers Safe, Entertained

By DREW PARKER

Staff Writer

As society moves closer to total connectivity through technology, vehicle trends follow suit.

According to John Hunnell, sales manager at the Moundsville Auto Choice Buick location, car, truck and SUV shoppers are looking for Bluetooth and hands-free driving capabilities and wireless internet for music, phone calls and more.

“A hands-free set up is the best way to prevent tickets and safety risks with talking on the phone while driving,” Hunnell said. “Almost every new vehicle is equipped with a Bluetooth system now.”

Hunnell added potential buyers are also on the hunt for modern safety features, such as automatic braking, blind spot alerts and backup cameras.

After a 2013 University of Michigan study found backup cameras responsible for significantly reducing the risk of backing-up crashes, Buick released cars with the feature for its 2015 model year, along with several other manufacturers.

The feature can reduce risks ranging from simple fender-benders to serious potential accidents, such as hitting a pedestrian.

Automatic braking technology activates a vehicle’s brake system to some degree whenever necessary in traffic situations. Systems vary from pre-charging brakes, to slowing the vehicle to lessen damage.

Some systems force the vehicle to a complete stop and can detect obstacles other than vehicles, such as animals, pedestrians and road debris.

Blind spot detectors appear on a driver’s side and rear view mirrors, to alert them of vehicles out of their immediate sight. Cross Traffic Alert systems, a more advanced version, will alert drivers backing out of a parking spot when traffic is approaching from either side.

Hunnell said Buick Enclave, Regal, Encore and Envision models are the best options for a high tech drive.

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