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Manufacturers reveal new safety features

Renault and Vauxhall have revealed new vehicle safety features.

The French manufacturer has unveiled new initiatives to improve rear seat safety, including one inspired by its Formula One team, called the ‘sleep safe’ head restraint for children.

The new device is part of the centre rear head restraint. The two sides of the head restraint flip down to hold the child's head, and therefore body, upright should they fall asleep. Available first on Espace, the Sleep Safe head restraint is designed for 6-10 year olds and is available as an option for £50. It will become available on other Renault models soon.

Renault has also introduced rear seatbelt pre-tensioners in the Modus and Clio.

New Clio also provides an undercushion structure to stop occupants ‘submarining’ out under the seatbelt under the force of the accident.

Vauxhall has introduced a rear parking distance sensors as an option for used cars.

Activated automatically as soon as reverse gear is engaged, the Vauxhall system uses two sensors that emit ultrasonic impulses, which bounce off objects or obstructions behind the car and reflect back to the sensors.

Drivers are notified by a beeping sound that becomes more rapid until a continuous sound is heard when the vehicle is 30cm away from the object. Because the device is positioned behind the rear number plate with the sensors at either end, there is no need to remove the rear bumper.

Available from Vauxhall dealers throughout the country, this accessory can be supplied and fitted for £129.99.

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