Buyers guide to safety jargon

 Mar 7, 2014

While many safety features have generic names, vehicle manufacturers can use a variety of different trade names. To make life a little more confusing, these terms often appear as initials only. Here are 20 of the most common, with a quick rundown of how they help to keep you safer on the road.

140307 SC Buyers Guide To Safety Jargon Hero V1
  • ABS: Anti-lock Braking System – prevents wheels from locking and allows you some control over steering under heavy braking.
  • ACC: Adaptive Cruise Control – monitors and maintains the distance from the vehicle in front.
  • AEB: Autonomous Emergency Braking – warns you of an impending frontal collision, and applies brakes if you don’t respond.
  • AHR: Active Head Restraints – designed to reduce the risk of neck injuries in rear impacts.
  • BA or BAS: Brake Assist – helps you apply the full force of the brakes in emergency conditions.
  • BLIS: Blind Spot Information System – uses a camera to monitor the car’s blind spot and alerts you if a road user is present.
  • DSC: Dynamic Stability Control – see ESC.
  • EBA: Emergency Brake Assist – see BA.
  • EBD: Electronic Brake-force Distribution – balances the braking force applied to each wheel for stability while braking.
  • ESC: Electronic Stability Control – helps to stabilise the car and reduce the chance of skidding by braking individual wheels.
  • ESP: Electronic Stability Program – see ESC. 
  • ETC: Electronic Traction Control – detects and prevents wheel spinning during a vehicle's acceleration.
  • FCW: Forward Collision Warning – warns you of an impending frontal collision through audio and visual alerts
  • ICC: Intelligent Cruise Control – see ACC.
  • LDWS: Lane Departure Warning System – sensors alert you if the car is drifting out of the lane.
  • SBR: Seat Belt Reminder system – uses an alarm to alert the vehicle occupants that a seat belt is not fastened.
  • SRP: System for Restraint and Protection – another name for airbags (designed to supplement seatbelts not replace them).
  • SRS: Supplementary Restraint System – another name for airbags (designed to supplement seatbelts not replace them).
  • TPMS: Tyre Pressure Monitoring System – alerts you of a significant decrease in tyre pressure.
  • TRC: Traction Control – detects and prevents wheel spinning during a car’s acceleration – see ETC.
  • VSC or VSCS: Vehicle Stability Control Systems – see ESC.
  • WHIPS: Whiplash Protection System – works by moving the seatback together with the driver in a rear end collision. 


Related articles