Everyone is talking about how technology can distract and confuse drivers, but we should also discuss how it can reduce accidents and save lives.
Technology is constantly changing, and the devices and systems drivers used on the roads yesterday are already out of fashion by today. Technology is advancing and brings innovation that could change the world. Car technologies like automatic emergency braking and front collision warning can prevent crashes.
Vehicle manufacturers invest massively in developing innovative technologies to change drivers’ lives. And pushed by the sense of competition among automakers, tech solutions have no limit. Well-known brands such as Mercedes Benz, Audi, and BMW are developing new, top-notch features that could improve road safety and prevent collisions.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that technologies like curve-adapting highlights, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and front collision warning could prevent one-third of the total number of road accidents annually. Studies also concluded that automatic braking and front collision warning features could prevent 50% of road accidents. The Highway Loss Data Institute partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and 20 car manufacturers to employ an initiative that promotes the equipping of 95% of vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems by the end of this year.
Read on to discover the latest advancements that have culminated in the tech landscape and are about to make driving safer for both drivers and other road participants.
Automatic emergency braking
As stated before, research shows that emergency braking can lower the number of auto accidents by 50%. Automotive experts reveal that there are countless reasons why automatic emergency braking is so effective in preventing crashes. The main one is that the technology is designed to cut down the risk of a common type of collision, namely front-to-rear accidents. Another reason is that people trust technology more than ever.
Statistics show that drivers always keep their automatic emergency braking systems activated but prefer to turn off the lane departure warning systems.
When the drivers are about to hit a car rear-end, their natural reaction is to grab the steering wheel, press on the brakes, and hold as steady as possible to protect their bodies from the impact. The automatic emergency braking system does the same thing; only it takes action faster. It features a sensor to detect possible accident situations, alert the driver to get ready for a crash, and automatically brake if the driver reacts too slowly. The automatic emergency braking system is very useful on the roads because it can prevent accidents and lower the number of victims. When road participants get injured due to someone else’s negligence, they hire car accident lawyers to help them claim compensation.
Blind spot warning
Another tech advancement that could reduce road accidents by 14% is blind spot warning, which is quite helpful when changing lanes. The system alerts the drivers that another car is in the next lane, but they cannot see it in the side or rearview mirrors. The system monitors traffic around the vehicle, including spots the driver may not see, and if a car enters a blind spot, it sends a warning message to the driver. The Highway Loss Data Institute states that the blind-spot warning system could cut down lane-change accidents by 14%. Auto experts think that this system is effective because it enhances road safety and alerts the driver of what’s happening around the car to prevent them from engaging in situations that could cause a crash. Professionals believe that blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking, and front collision warning are three essential safety features for any car.
Real-time data on extreme terrain
The drivers who take their vehicles off-road regularly know that driving through difficult terrain is risky, and they expect the cars they drive to keep them safe. Audi, a well-known automaker, integrated a mobile interface in its Audi Q8 model to provide the driver with real-time information about road conditions. Besides providing the driver with essential surface data, the vehicle also includes some mechanical functions to prevent the car from tipping over. One useful characteristic is the slope assistance function which controls speed during descent and prevents the car from rolling backward. Technology allowed the automaker to challenge the laws of physics so the driver could enable these safety features when necessary.
Automatic high beams
Auto specialists think automatic high beams are useful features on the road because they can reduce the number of nighttime accidents by 20%. Statistics show that the cars that feature automatic high beams engage in fewer accidents than those that lack the function. However, at the moment, there aren’t enough cars with the high beam assist feature in measuring how effective it is in reducing night crashes. But one study found that the feature is significantly underused, as only 18% of the drivers that have it also turn it on. The system takes over the task of turning the lights on and off when the situation calls and could improve nighttime visibility and beam usage.
Another tech improvement modern vehicles include is the curve-adaptive headlights function that illuminates the road ahead even when the vehicle is going around a curve. HDLI concluded that the cars that integrate this feature experienced a 5.8% reduction in property management liability claims than those lacking it.
Rear cross-traffic warning
Studies show that rear cross-traffic alerts are more effective than rearview cameras in preventing accidents during backing actions. These systems include sensors that alert the drivers when an object or vehicle is approaching from their side, so they can avoid an accident. They offer a better backup view than mirrors and cameras.
Even if rear cross-traffic warning systems help prevent accidents, rear automatic emergency braking is a better solution because it takes control over the car in a hazardous situation. The combined features would cut down the risk of backing crashes by 78% and save lives.
Vehicles can’t drive alone on any road yet, but technology can help drivers stay safe and prevent accidents. The systems presented above alert the driver when they’re about to engage in a dangerous situation and protect them from devastating consequences.