What’s the single most important thing about a car ride? Is it the travel itself, the destination, or getting there safely? If you guessed all of the above, you’re right. However, we would like to focus on the third part of this question, and that’s all about safety. It is well known that one of the best ways to get a safe car is to search “Toyota Dealer near me,” But what is it that sets Toyota apart from the competition? We’ve got the run-down of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), and we’ll teach you why this safety suite is so important. To those who are unaware, TSS is a large suite of safety features that were first combined under the Safety Sense moniker back in 2015. Since then, it’s nearly expected that new Toyota vehicles will utilize the package, and we’ve even seen newer variations of the suite with the likes of TSS 2.0 and 2.5.
TSS 2.0 doesn’t omit any of the features that we saw in the first iteration but instead adds a host of additional features that many people had been clamoring about for years. Nearly every aspect of the driving experience has been addressed, with included features focusing on different driving scenarios. For example, there are features in place that make highway travel safer, whether it’s in the form of blind-spot monitors, lane correction, automatic high beams, and so on. Some features are set in place to assist with the more daily aspects of driving, such as parking in a space, leaving a parking space, and much more.
It’s an unfortunate truth that driving can be a very dangerous activity, not just for yourself, but others around you too. Part of driving is respecting other drivers, sharing the road, and doing everything in your power to avoid a collision or other related accident. While drivers try their very best every day to prevent anything bad from happening, human error is unfortunately still a part of our everyday lives. Even the best drivers are prone to make mistakes, so how do we make up for human error when it’s a fact that nobody is perfect? The answer is technology.
The most important feature of TSS is the Pre-Collision System. This technology has two main functions, though they work in unison in ways that can save the life of another driver or even an unwary pedestrian. Let’s say that you’re approaching a red light, and there’s a vehicle stopped in front of it. Naturally, you would bring your vehicle to a stop by applying the brakes before you hit the other vehicle, simple.
Now, let’s throw something unforeseen into the mix, such as a major distraction cropping up out of nowhere, and you fail to slow down in time. This will trigger the alert system, known as Vehicle Detection. By gaining the attention of the driver through an alarm and a visual warning, the vehicle tries to give enough of a notice for the driver to apply the brakes themselves. While the vehicle expects you to apply the brakes yourself, the Pre-Collision System is designed to take matters into its own hands by automatically hitting the brakes before the moment of impact. Some vehicles from other manufacturers have similar features nowadays, but it’s not always guaranteed that the same system will work with pedestrians.
Fortunately for anyone who has purchased a Toyota vehicle with TSS, Pedestrian and Bicycle Detection are built right into the safety suite. The idea is simple: take the functions found in the vehicle detection and automatic braking that we described earlier, but apply this to those who aren’t even inside of a vehicle, such as bicyclists and pedestrians. When all three of these features are combined, Toyota vehicles are designed to keep everyone safe, whether you’re a fellow driver or just taking a stroll.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Let’s change it up a bit. Reversing your vehicle is something that you likely do daily. Whether you’re leaving your driveway or reversing out of a parking space in a shopping center, you know how much attention has to be given to the task at hand. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is designed to prevent the unexpected. While drivers have to pay equal attention to both ways of traffic when reversing, sometimes a vehicle can appear out of seemingly nowhere. This can catch even the most experienced driver off guards, and in severe cases, this results in a collision.
How does Rear Cross-Traffic Alert help in preventing a collision from occurring? The simplest way to explain this feature is that it uses radar antennas built into the back of your vehicle. Even though these sensors may not be visible to the human eye, they are built to detect motion. When the radar detects that another vehicle is about to cross your path, the system will alert you to its presence and allow you to apply the brakes before any damage happens.
Road Sign Assist
Road Sign Assist is a relatively new feature, but once you experience driving with it, you won’t want to go without it. Using cameras that are situated on the front of your vehicle, Toyota models with Road Sign Assist will survey the road, scanning for any upcoming traffic signs. When one is detected, an image of the sign is displayed directly onto the Multi-Information Display inside your Toyota vehicle. So if you’re unsure what the speed limit may be on an unfamiliar road that you’re traveling on, all you’ll have to do is look down at the MID, and you’ll have all the information that you need.
Safer Than Ever
Toyota has only improved upon TSS since it first launched back in 2015, and we’re excited to see how far it’s come. Although Toyota may not be the only manufacturer with an advanced safety suite that has been implemented into its vehicles, Toyota’s is one of the better ones that we’ve seen. Since TSS has been around for a relatively long time now, you can find plenty of used Toyota vehicles with these features included, and at a great price too. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for a vehicle because if you do your research correctly, you can get a vehicle that’s fairly priced but is also efficient, reliable, and capable. From a reputable brand such as Toyota, we expect nothing less than the utmost care for the consumer, and this has had a positive impact on the build quality and safety tech of their most popular vehicles.
Of course, purchasing an older Toyota vehicle means you’re more likely to miss out on some of the newer features that have been implemented with TSS 2.0 and 2.5, but even TSS 1.0 is a fantastic start. Not only does TSS make Toyota vehicles safer on its own, but these vehicles are typically built with the highest quality, and they even have the awards to prove it. For example, in 2021, Toyota had no fewer than six models named Top Safety Picks by the IIHS, and three more models received the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award. Simply put, if you care about safety, Toyota has your back.