Whether you’re looking at a truck like the GMC Sierra or an SUV like the GMC Terrain for sale at your local dealership, you’ll find that there are a wide variety of safety features available. Some of these have become so popular and useful that they’re now required to be included in all vehicles, like backup cameras. Others are newer and not as well-known to drivers. Some are included as standard features across all trim levels, and others are optional or perks of upgrading to a top-tier trim.
Safety is a top priority for just about every driver, from parents looking to protect their kids to contractors who rely on their trucks for their job and can’t afford to get into a costly accident. With so many different features available these days, it can be difficult to keep track of what terms like “driver assistance” mean and which safety features are necessities. Today, we’re going to dig into the variety of safety features available across GMC’s lineup.
GMC Pro Safety
Driver assistance technologies are basically automatic features that are designed to increase the safety of a vehicle. Some of these technologies give the driver alerts or information, while others take automatic action, like braking or adjusting the headlights. These technologies have become more common on vehicles in recent years, and while they tended to be reserved for higher trim levels when they first hit the market, they’re often standard features now. That’s good news for drivers who are looking for an extra layer of security that can help prevent them from getting into an accident.
GMC’s Pro Safety suite of driver assistance technologies comes standard for most vehicles in its lineup. Even if you opt for the most basic trim level, you can expect to find these features on the 2023 models of the Canyon and Sierra 1500 pickup trucks and the 2023 models of the Terrain, Acadia, and Yukon SUVs. Here are the features included in GMC Pro Safety:
- Forward Collision Alert – Gives you a warning when the system senses that you’re about to get into a collision with the vehicle in front of you so that you can act quickly to avoid the accident.
- Automatic Emergency Braking – Kicks in if you either don’t hit the brakes soon enough or don’t hit them hard enough. The system can either brake on its own or supplement your manual braking in order to either avoid or reduce the severity of the collision.
- Front Pedestrian Braking – Senses pedestrians in front of your vehicle and uses automatic braking to avoid a collision, which is especially important when you’re driving a large vehicle like a full-size truck or SUV.
- Following Distance Indicator – Shows you how much distance there is between you and the vehicle in front of you. This is especially helpful when driving on the highway during times when traffic is unpredictable and may slow down or grind to a halt at any time.
- Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning – Work to keep you from unintentionally drifting out of your lane through a combination of warnings and, when necessary, subtle corrective steering.
- IntelliBeam Auto High Beam Assist – Uses light sensors to turn your brights on and off automatically based on the surrounding conditions. That way you can set it and forget it without worrying about turning your brights off and back on every time you encounter oncoming traffic.
Additional Driver Assistance Features
Which features come standard varies from model to model and trim to trim. Beyond the features included in GMC Pro Safety, the automaker offers several other features that are more advanced and may only be available with an optional package or higher-tier trim. Features that come in handy on the freeway include Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, which keeps you extra aware of vehicles in the lanes next to you, and Adaptive Cruise Control, which can slow down and speed back up to keep a set distance between you and the vehicle in front of you while cruise control is active.
Others are designed to help keep you safe while parking. Plenty of collisions happen in parking lots, where you have to maneuver in tight spaces and stay aware of a lot of other vehicles and pedestrians. Rear cross traffic alert gives you warnings about approaching cars while you’re backing out of a parking space, and rear park assist uses ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles while you’re backing into a spot.
Towing & Trailering Tech
If you’re towing a heavy trailer, then there are more things that can go wrong on the road. Since GMC makes several SUVs and trucks that have high towing capacities, they also offer plenty of tech that’s specifically designed to make trailering safer. Features like trailer sway control and hill start assist come standard on the 2023 Canyon and Sierra 1500, helping to keep the driver in control at all times while towing heavy loads.
For serious towing, GMC also offers an available in-vehicle Trailering App that puts vital information at the driver’s fingertips. The system can detect your trailer and create custom profiles so you don’t have to manually re-enter information every time you use your trailer. Pre-departure checklists, light sequence tests, and diagnostics can help you make sure everything is in its place before you depart. Vehicles like the Sierra also offer advanced driver assistance that’s designed with trailers in mind, like Trailer Blind Zone Alert and GCW alert, which lets you know when your vehicle’s weight exceeds the recommended GCWR limit.
Many GMC vehicles offer rugged off-road trims that are capable of venturing beyond paved roads. The Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, and Yukon all offer an AT4 trim, and some go even further with the AT4X trim. If you’re looking to hit the rocky trails in your GMC, then you should make sure that you’re getting all of the safety equipment that the automaker has to offer. Aluminum skid plates protect your vehicle’s underbody from uneven ground, stray rocks, and other obstacles that are too tall for you to simply avoid with your vehicle’s ground clearance. While off-road models are designed to have the power to get out of most sticky situations, they also tend to come with tow hooks so that they’re easy to rescue in case of an unexpected issue.
While you may be exploring the outdoors to get off the grid, it can still be smart to take some technology along for the ride. For instance, GMC offers a variety of camera views that can help you stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Waterproof front and rear underbody cameras are available to give you a close-up on low-lying obstacles, while wash systems can keep the lenses clean and clear, even on the muddiest of trails. Split-screen camera views can show you multiple angles at once, giving you the upper hand while maneuvering in tight spaces.
GMC Puts an Emphasis on Safety
Clearly, GMC is committed to offering the latest in safety technology across its diverse lineup. Whether you’re getting a midsize pickup truck or a full-size SUV, you can expect to get a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance features. If you’re getting a vehicle to do a specific task, like towing a heavy trailer or venturing off-road, then you can get more specialized features to help mitigate the added risk that can come from carrying a lot of weight or leaving the pavement behind. Seeing how far automotive safety has come in recent years, we’re excited to see where it will go from here. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on automakers like GMC and seeing what new innovations they will add to their lineup in the coming years.