Safety in modern cars is better than ever—including in the Genesis GV80 that very well saved Tiger Woods.
The new cars that hit the road are loaded with features that can help prevent accidents and, if that accident happens anyway, to mitigate the impact as best it can. Look no further than our contributor Teia Collier, who wrote a gorgeous story about how the Volkswagen Tiguan saved her family’s life.
It’s the same with the Genesis GV80, a luxury SUV designed with safety in mind, that very well could have saved Tiger Woods’ life. Woods, one of the most iconic golf champions of all time, was involved in a terrifying one-car crash in Los Angeles, California. His GV80 rolled down a steep embankment several times, and Woods was immediately transferred to a hospital, where he underwent hours of surgery to repair open fractures in his legs. But if he hadn’t been in a GV80, the news might be much worse.
We’ll run you through just what you need to know regarding how this car could have been what kept Tiger Woods alive during his terrifying crash.
Related: The Safest Cars on the Road: Why Lighter, More Fuel Efficient, Rather than an Older, Heftier Cars Are Safer
The Genesis GV80 Makes Safety A Standard
If you’ve browsed the options in the new car market recently, you’ll likely have noticed that not all advanced safety features come standard on all models. Some manufacturers require you to buy a more expensive trim to access things like automatic emergency braking.
But Genesis went a different route with its GV80. It includes tons of advanced driver-assistance systems as a standard option. You can’t not have them.
“When it comes to safety, GV80 is designed not only to offer protection to its occupants in the event of an accident, but also from accidents from happening at all,” Albert Biermann, head of research and development, said.
Here are some of the advanced features available on the GV80:
- Highway driving assist, which helps the driver in tons of different situations, like lane changes when the turn signal is on or merging in congested areas.
- Forward collision avoidance, which automatically stops the car if there’s a car in front of you.
- Blind spot collision avoidance, which watches your blind spots and alerts you when there’s something there you may not see.
- Rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, which uses a radar to make sure there are no obstacles behind you while backing up.
- Driver attention alert, which sends you a message if the GV80 senses you aren’t keeping your eyes on the road.
And those are only a few. The GV80 is essentially primed to keep you on the road and away from other cars as much as possible without being an autonomous vehicle.
But What About The Physical Safety Measures?
Technology is great for preventing a crash, but in the Tiger Woods case, they wouldn’t have added much help. That’s when you turn to the physical construction of the car, along with airbag placement, to clue you on how safe you can actually be.
The GV80 includes 10 standard airbags, including some that are really revolutionary. For example, it has an airbag between the two front seats, which helps prevent front passengers from colliding into each other. It also has a side curtain airbag that runs the length of the car, all the way from the front to the third row. There are also knee, overhead, and front airbags, along with anti-whiplash head restraints.
All these features launch within milliseconds of contact and essentially provide a giant cushion designed to protect the passengers.
Finally: Build Quality
The last thing to consider when it comes to a vehicle’s safety is its build quality, which basically just means how well-put-together the car is. There’s a common misconception that larger vehicles like SUVs are necessarily safer, but that’s not always the case. A poorly-built SUV is just as dangerous as a poorly-built sedan.
Ideally, you want a car that can dissipate the energy of the crash into body structures, not into passengers, which is done through things like crumple zones, pieces of car designed to be thrown off, and a strong shell to protect passengers. We generally test that via crash tests.
Unfortunately, there is no crash test data available for the Genesis GV80 because the car is still very new. Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have crash test data for the GV80, so we can’t speak with any certainty about how, exactly, this SUV rates.
Genesis, though, has consistently topped the charts when it comes to safety. The Genesis G70, G80, and G90 sedans have all recently been an IIHS top-safety pick+, which means they performed incredibly well across the board. These are the kinds of cars you can rely on when it comes to safety, build quality, and even comfort.
And because of the demand, we’re very likely to see GV80 crash tests coming soon. But because of the strong performance of other Genesis cars, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the GV80 top the charts, too.
Top Tips for Staying Safe on the Road
If you’re looking to maximize the safety of you and your passengers, there are a few things you can do:
- Do your research when buying a car to ensure that your year and trim level contain the features you’re looking for.
- Stay on top of recalls and maintenance. Many vehicles were outfitted with faulty Takata airbags, for example, which compromised the integrity of the car. They were replaced without cost to car owners, but only if you were aware of the issue.
- Practice safe-driving tips, like ensuring you and your passengers are buckled and that larger, heavier objects—including pets—are secured.
- Don’t drive if you feel compromised, like if you’re tired, medicated, in pain, or intoxicated.
Tiger Woods had a terrifying crash, but his choice of vehicle may very well have saved his life. Make sure you’re aware of your vehicle’s capabilities and its faults, and make sure you drive aware.