If something works without a manual function being performed, that's an active feature. Active car safety technology has improved over the years where some features that used to be passive are now active such as lights that come on automatically. Airbags are also active safety features since it requires no assistance from the driver, but rather the airbags are activated by impact by another force such as another car or object. It does make one wonder, though, with all the modern active car safety technology if some of the passive features can be changed to active safety features. It would perhaps reduce the number of accidents if some of this were possible.
After all, how many times do we see people driving after dusk without their lights on? The newer cars, of course, have lights that automatically come on or even stay on whenever the car's engine is running, but what about windshield wipers? In most states it is a law to have the lights on when the windshield wipers are going, yet on any given rainy day, many cars are seen without lights and windshield wipers on. Fog is another time when many people don't know when to turn on their lights. It appears that people think unless they need them to see, it isn't necessary to turn them on; the truth is, lights should be on any time that weather conditions might prevent another driver from seeing your vehicle.
One of the moves that is unsafe is people who don't use turn signals. There should be some way to make this one of the active safety features by perhaps coordinating the movement of the tires turning. After all, if we have cars that can shut down to prevent the car from overheating when it gets too hot, there should be a way to make some of the more important passive safety features into active safety features in order to save lives on the highway. It's just as important to signal when one is changing lanes on the interstate as to have your car's engine shut down when you are traveling too fast. Of course, it can't be denied that by the middle of this century, cars will be more capable of detecting things such as a lane change than today.
In fact, by the end of this century, our cars may be working on voice-activated commands instead of manual operation. Why not? In some countries, cars make you take a Breathalyzer test, and if the driver fails, the car won't start! With the amount of accidents caused by drunken drivers, it doesn't sound like such a bad idea here in the United States. The problem is here we would have everyone crying that the government is taking away his or her freedom, the reason it took so long to pass a mandatory seat belt law. The difference is, for the most part failure to use a seat belt hurts only the person who fails to use it, but driving under the influence can injure others as well. It's sad how many people cry "lack of freedom" when someone is only trying to protect them for themselves!