Safety on the Roads: Taking a Look at New Safety Technology in Automobiles

Car accidents are inevitable and will happen at least once in a person’s lifetime no matter how carefully a vehicle is operated. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a car crash occurs every 5 seconds, an injury sustained in a car accident occurs every 10 seconds, and every 12 minutes someone dies in a motor vehicle crash. Many accidents are preventable and a majority of accidents can be avoided due to the increase of driver awareness from following the rules of the road to eliminating distractions. Unfortunately, simply changing driving habits cannot prevent all types of vehicle accidents.

For years, vehicles have been equipped with technology, such as airbags and seat belts, to prevent and reduce injury in the event of an accident, but car makers are developing more technology that can help prevent an accident from happening in the first place. Drivers can avoid becoming an accident statistic by driving vehicles with anti-crash technology.

Stay In Your Lane

How many times have you been driving down the freeway, staying within your own lane, and suddenly needed to move over because another driver was inching closer, crossing over the center line into your lane? According to Raleigh Accident Lawyers, drivers can drift in and out of their lanes for any number of reasons such as inclement weather, intoxication, or distractions. Regardless, it can be a deadly move, albeit unintentional. Frontal impact crashes are also common when an oncoming vehicle crosses the center line and crashes into another car. According to the Insurance Information Institute, these type of crashes are the most deadly.

Lane Departure Alert or Warning (LDA) uses a camera to detect when the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane, particularly when the turn signal was not used. The LDA is available in many vehicles from Honda to Lexus.

Extra Set of Eyes When Backing Up

Backing up or out of a tight spot can be difficult, particularly in busy areas like parking lots or onto a high traffic street. Backup cameras prevent simple fender benders and can also prevent more serious and tragic accidents such as hitting an animal or a person with your vehicle while backing up. Although all drivers were taught to look behind them when backing up and continuously checking blind spots and the rearview mirror, some things are just out of view. A backup camera is such an essential piece of anti-crash technology that by 2018 rearview monitoring technology is expected to be standard on all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S.

The End to Drunk Driving?

While anti-drunk driving technology has been in the works for years, car makers like Nissan are getting closer to making it a reality. Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) is a breath-based system that will be placed on the steering wheel or on the driver’s side door. The device is designed to detect the driver’s breath and analyze if any alcohol is present. Additionally, a touch sensor in the vehicle’s gear shift or ignition button will detect the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) from the driver’s skin. Between the breath and skin analysis, the car will only start and run if the BAC reading is less than the legal intoxication of 0.08.

This technology could prevent tens of thousands of traffic deaths related to a driver under the influence of alcohol. Up until the near future, the only similar type of technology is the Ignition interlock Device that works like a breathalyzer in a vehicle. The use of these devices vary by state law and drunk driving offenses. While there is no date set for DADSS, it will be life saving anti-crash technology.

It’s up to drivers to take initiative to be safe on our roads, but anti-crash technology devices can make daily commutes just a little bit safer.