Great Toyota Safety Features
You can be assured that in the event of a collision, you’re as safe in a Toyota as it’s possible to be, with the new Avensis and Auris both scoring 5 star ratings at EuroNCAP.
But what about preventing the crash in the first place? Toyota has developed a suite of electronic aids called Safety Sense, based around a laser/camera unit mounted high on the windscreen, to help you avoid a collision at all and even take preventative action itself.
Adaptive cruise control helps to keep you at a minimum preset distance from the car in front, which you can increase or reduce - within reason! If the distance between you and the car ahead starts to fall, your Toyota will automatically reduce its speed to preserve the gap, or accelerate up to your desired speed if the gap increases.
Should the gap fall significantly, the system will brake to rapidly reduce speed, illuminating the brake lights to alert cars behind you.
The pre-collision system is an extension of adaptive cruise control, reacting to suddenly slowing or stationary traffic. If the possibility of a collision is detected the system will first alert you with audible warnings and an emergency message on the information screen. Should the car think a collision is still likely, it will automatically brake for you to prevent or mitigate a crash, from speeds as high as 50mph.
This system can be upgraded to include pedestrian detection. This works in exactly the same way, but acts to detect pedestrians and prevent the car from colliding with them should they unwarily step off a kerb or emerge from an obstructed hiding place.
The system’s camera can also read road signs, with the Road Sign Assist feature. This will detect signs like speed limits or overtaking restrictions and display them on the information screen. Should you exceed the local speed limit, there’s also a warning tone to remind you to back off the right pedal a little.
Lane Departure Alert also uses the camera, to observe the road markings ahead of the car. This will detect if you’re wandering out of lane, by monitoring how quickly you’re changing lane without indicating, and alert you to the fact with an audible warning.
With the Automatic High Beam system, your view of the road in dull and dark conditions is improved by keeping the car’s main beams on for as much of the time as it possibly can. The car monitors for oncoming traffic and switches to dipped beams so as not to dazzle other road users, switching back automatically when it can.