By Marcus Fernandez
According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers represent the greatest threat to safety on the roads. The study found that more than 94% of collisions can be traced to something a driver did or failed to do. That statistic takes on even greater significance when you think about how many of the more than 400,000 vehicle crashes happening each year on Florida roadways could be avoided simply by removing driver error from the equation. That brings us to the topic of this article, technology that can reduce car accidents.
A possible solution to combat driver error may be found in technology features that can reduce car accidents. The introduction of automated systems that warn drivers of hazardous maneuvers, such as veering into another lane, and advanced systems that initiate steering or braking to avert collisions may counter some of the most common driver behaviors that contribute to car accidents. Here are nine examples of currently available technology that can reduce car accidents.
1. Forward Collision Systems
Driver distraction is one of the leading causes of car crashes in Tampa. Some of the common causes of driver distraction include:
- Texting while driving.
- Talking on the phone or engaging in conversations with passengers.
- Adjusting radio controls.
- Checking maps and GPS devices.
Any of these behaviors may lead to a rear-end crash. Forward collision systems available on many vehicles automatically compute the distance between your car and a vehicle in front of it. When the vehicles are too close to each other, the system automatically reduces the speed of your car to avoid a collision.
2. Lane Departure Technology
Lane departure technology addresses the issue of drivers who fail to stay in lane. A distracted or drowsy driver may cause collide with a vehicle in an adjoining lane or may drift into the path of oncoming traffic and cause a head-on crash.
The technology comes in two versions. One version gives an audible warning to drivers when their cars depart from their lane of travel. Using the directional signal to intentionally move from one lane to another cancels the lane departure signal.
Another version of the system includes an audible signal, but it also takes control of the steering to gently move the car back into its lane. Cameras and onboard computers detect the center of the lane of travel to actually steer a car away from a possible collision even if the driver does not react.
3. Blind-spot Detection
Drivers who do not monitor the location of other vehicles before changing lanes obviously increase the risk of an accident, but drivers who check their side view mirror may still be at risk because of blind spots. Blind-spot detection systems sound an audible warning to the driver and have a light on the side view mirrors that go on when another vehicle is present.
4. Automatic Emergency Braking Systems
There are two types of automatic braking systems currently available. Both systems work to reduce the risk of crashing into another vehicle. Each of them sounds an audible warning to alert the driver that some type of corrective action is required to avoid colliding with another vehicle or object.
If a car equipped with a crash imminent braking system detects a possible collision, it will automatically apply the brakes to either slow or stop in order to avoid a crash. The system only activates when the driver fails to use the brakes.
Dynamic brake support differs from crash imminent braking by requiring that a driver apply the brakes for it to activate. Once activated, it will monitor braking to apply more pressure as needed to avoid a collision.
5. Backup Cameras
Backup cameras enhance the ability of a driver to see pedestrians, bicycle riders, and other vehicles when pulling out of a driveway or parking space. A camera located at the rear of a car activates when the driver shifts into reverse. An onboard display allows the driver to see what is behind the car.
6. Cross-traffic Alert Systems
Some manufacturers include a cross-traffic alert system with backup cameras or offer it as an option that buyers can add when they purchase a car. The system sounds an audible warning when it detects another vehicle or pedestrian approaches from the sides or rear while the car is in reverse. Lights in the side view mirrors may flash to indicate the direction from which the other vehicle or person is approaching.
7. Rear Crash-imminent Braking
Rear crash-imminent braking works in conjunction with a cross-traffic alert system. When the system detects a collision risk, it automatically applies the brakes to avoid an accident.
8. Driver Monitoring Systems
Technology developers use algorithms to monitor drivers and computers to analyze the information to detect when someone is drowsy or falling asleep while driving. The systems alert drivers in order to make them pay attention.
9. Autonomous Cruise Control
Cruise control offers the convenience of allowing a driver to set a speed and having the vehicle automatically maintain it. Autonomous cruise control introduces a new measure of safety by automatically monitoring and maintaining a safe distance between vehicles. It does this by slowing the equipped vehicle to avoid allowing it to get too close to the rear of another vehicle.
When Technology Causes Accidents
Technology designed to improve safety may cause an accident when systems fail to perform as intended. If this happens, a Tampa personal injury attorney may be of assistance with knowledgeable advice and skilled representation. Consult one of our experienced lawyers at Kinney, Fernandez and Boire Law. Call us or fill out this form to get a free case evaluation.