Cadillac Safety Alert Seat is a Kick in the Pants

Seatwarning

The 2013 Cadillac SRX was dropped off just in time to nurse me through the perils and chaos of Christmas shopping in a blizzard. My test car was equipped with the Safety Alert Seat, a part of the Driver Awareness Package that's standard on the crossover's Premium trim level as well as in other models like the ATS sport sedan pictured above. It ingeniously gave me a little kick in the pants — literally — to grab my attention when needed.

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Even with the benefit of a backup camera and the front parking sensor's audible warnings, there are times when it's so chaotic and loud in the car — thanks to my three girls — that I could easily miss both of these cues. The Safety Alert Seat "sends subtle pulses through the seat cushion, alerting the driver to a variety of potential hazards," according to Cadillac. Having the seat jolt and vibrate to catch my attention and heighten my awareness of what's going on is really quite ingenious.  

This came in handy when Christmas shopping with my daughters. We were belting out Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" while I was backing the SRX out of a parking space. A frantic shopper was, unbeknownst to me, speeding through the parking lot. I would have backed right into her if not for the SRX's rear cross-traffic alert. It sent a jolt to the left side of my seat, announcing the speeding car. Due to our singing, I wouldn't have heard an alert tone, and since I was turned to look out the back of the car, I would have missed any visual alerts in the side mirrors or center screen.

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In addition to working in conjunction with the rear cross-traffic alert system, the Safety Alert Seat also works alongside both the lane departure warning and forward collision alert systems.

Cadillac's multisensory seat is my new favorite safety feature of the year. Is there anyone out there who has this feature on their own car? If so, do you find it helpful or distracting? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Comments 

Hector Gomez

I test drove the ATS and XTS for a living, and they both have this feature. Quite effective.

kdt

It's an interesting feature, but really isn't the bigger question why it's needed at all? Until driverless cars are perfected, issues of distracted driving will continue to plague the roads. This otherwise well-done article blithely floats right over that problem. Perhaps a crowded mall parking lot is not the best place to become absorbed in a family sing-a-long?

Jake

Dude, it's a nice little article about a helpful safety feature that saved a guy's family from getting injured during the holiday season. Why the need for the reminder that only robot cars will save us from the distracted driving behaviors of us imperfect humans? It takes a real Grinch to complain about a happy family singing Christmas songs in a mall parking lot.

Anon

- Seat vibration, my ass...
- Indeed!

kdt

Hi Jake. I suppose I am a Grinch, but when you consider how distracted driving is injuring and killing more and more of us, I think it's valid to raise the issue. The fact that a happy but distracted family was singing holiday carols when their car plowed in to someone or somebody will be small consolation to the victim. Or the victim's family.

Sah

Agree entirely with kdt, the reviewer needs to concentrate on the job in hand ie driving safely, and get the kids to pipe down.

tom

i think you both need to get a life. Clearly if you were so concerned you shouldnt focus so much of your energies on the comments section of a website. moron.

Sah

Tom,Nice use if the phrase get a life, unfortunately thousands of people killed by onnatentive divers every year can't get a life. And your attitude sums up the exact reason why drivers are responsible for thousands of deaths and life altering injuries every year. A car is a lethal weapon, when you're driving it that is all you should be doing. Not singing, listening to loud music, texting, lighting a cigarette etc. The reviewer here has essentially admitted to driving without due care and attention. Vibrating seats are not necessary if everyone judt drives how they should.

HiYaAll

Good idea, like auto wiper blades, just how much more of the cost does the consumer have to swallow. So you talk about distractions when they have PC screen in the front dash that you lean over to to punch in info while you are diving??

Brian

I think its a good system.
we humans do get distracted or loose our attention from time to time thinking about whatever, daydreaming even though we shouldn't. If the cost is reasonable, optional and not federally mandated, I don't see a problem. Good job GM.

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