Who Says Safety Isn't Sexy?

Cool gizmos check your tires, watch your back, and more

Despite all the scary news about Ford Explorers (F) with exploding tires, cars are definitely safer than they used to be. You can find air bags, antilock brakes, and side collision rails inside most late-model cars. And you can be pretty sure that each new model year will bring further safety improvements. Next year's offerings, for example, due out this fall, will have an emergency escape latch with a fluorescent handle inside the trunk, mostly so kids don't lock themselves in by mistake. By 2004, the government will require that tires automatically display an alert on the dashboard if they are under- or over-inflated.

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