toyota interior
photo: Toyota

Remember that 2002 movie with Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana, and Taryn Manning? The one where they set out on this monumental BFF road trip that takes them from small town Georgia to the bright lights of Los Angeles? It may have been the #CheesiestMovieOfAllTime, but if their journey doesn’t inspire you to throw your weekender in the trunk, grab a couple of girlfriends, and stop at all the tourist traps and must-see destinations along the way, nothing else will. And just consider the Instagram potential here, people!

If you’re road-tripping it with your crew, you’ll want to make sure all your bases are covered. Bring all the snacks, pack a few spare cell phone chargers (heaven forbid you run out of battery), create an official road trip playlist, and, most importantly, make sure to adhere to Mom’s advice of “safety first.” Not to be a downer or anything while you’re planning the trip of a lifetime, but having multiple people in your car can be a bit distracting. That said, it’s totally possible to keep everyone safe without reducing the fun factor. For example, Toyota Safety Sense™ suite of technologies – which comes standard in their new Toyota Corolla –and kinda makes you feel like you’re living in the future. Here’s how!

Prevents Collisions

Do you ever feel like you’re in a driving-themed video game where all these hurdles keep getting thrown in front of your car (almost literally)? There’s a biker whizzing by on your left, a car stopped in the middle of the highway straight ahead, and a pedestrian who’s too busy thumbing through Facebook to look up and see a car coming through the intersection. Just another day on the road! As crazy and futuristic as it may sound, the Toyota Corolla comes with a "Standard Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection" that alerts you when another vehicle or pedestrian could cause a potential collision.  And if you're too slow to respond, the system may automatically hit the brakes for you. How’s that for a 21st century safety advancement?

Automatically Switches Your Brights On and Off

Not only is it pretty annoying to constantly switch your brights on and off when driving in the dark, it can also be potentially dangerous. When enabled, Toyota's "Automatic High Beam" system simplifies your night driving experience by automatically detecting oncoming vehicle headlights and turning your brights on or off as necessary.

Helps Keep You Inside the Lines

People who describe crashes often say something to the effect, "It happened so quickly!" Maybe they looked down for a second to turn the volume up, or looked in the rearview mirror and inadvertently shifted the wheel in the process. Whatever the case, if you accidentally start veering across marked road lanes, Toyota Corolla’s "Lane Departure Alert" will issue an audible and visual warning so you can quickly correct yourself. It will also initiate gentle corrective steering, if necessary.

Smartly Adjusts Cruise Control

Cruise control was a genius invention and the world is a better and safer place for its existence. Toyota one-upped the standard CC feature, though, with their "Dynamic Radar Cruise Control." Instead of just setting your car at one speed and leaving it there, it automatically slows down based on the speed of the vehicle in front of you. Once the road clears, it’ll pick back up to your set speed. Bonus: driving at consistent speeds can improve your gas mileage. Treat yourself to a convenience store splurge with the savings, babe!

Don’t forget to have tons of fun, take tons of photos, and come up with a bajillion inside joke hashtags on your upcoming road trip, but also remember to drive safe.