Minnesota has its share of car crashes. Reckless driving, drunk driving, distracted driving and other such dangerous activities often result in devastating injuries. Fortunately, forward-thinking inventors and designers are constantly working to increase safety in the vehicles we use on a daily basis and too often take for granted.

Seat belts and airbags are commonplace vehicle safety features, but what kind of new safety technology will you find when you are in the market for a new car or truck? Here are five of the newest, most intuitive systems to help keep drivers and passengers safe.

Keeping your distance

The Adaptive Cruise Control system is available on many of the new cars you see today. Radar and sensors mounted inside the grille zero in on the car in front of you. The system automatically applies brakes or throttle to help you maintain a safe distance. If the ACC detects an impending collision, it will tighten seat belts and brake firmly.

Alert braking

Speaking of braking, the Automatic Emergency Braking system will take the initiative and brake for you if it senses a possible collision. The AEB response is much faster than a human response in an emergency situation.

Seeing through the blind spot

As a driver, you probably glance over your shoulder automatically when you want to see what is coming up behind you. Now the blind spot detection system uses little orange or yellow lights in your side mirrors to alert you to an approaching vehicle you may not have seen.

Staying in your lane

There is now a dual lane-departure/lane-keep warning system. These two features work in tandem, first, to warn you with a seat or steering wheel buzzer when you are straying outside the white lines, and second, to guide your vehicle back into the lane from which it wandered. The system will switch off if it has difficulty detecting lines.

Keeping doors closed

Parents are very interested in the new Safety Exit Assist. This system stops children in the back seat from opening car doors when bicycles or other vehicles are approaching from behind.