The Future Is Now: Collision Avoidance, Connected Vehicles, and More
Without a doubt, cars (and the laws that govern them) have been getting progressively safer over the last 50 years. It’s hard to believe that seatbelts weren’t a required feature in vehicles until 1968, and Texas law didn’t require all passengers in a vehicle to wear seat belts until 2010!
In recent years, innovative vehicle safety features have been introduced by almost every car manufacturer to get ahead of the competition and comply with new safety regulations. For example, to get the highest possible safety score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a vehicle must have a forward-collision warning system with automatic braking.
And by 2022, automakers including Ford, General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Tesla Motors, Volkswagen, and more have agreed to work with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the IIHS to make automatic emergency braking systems standard on all cars and light trucks.
The increasing popularity and effectiveness of these safety features will have a positive impact on our roadways — but that’s no excuse to let your guard down while driving. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most popular new car safety systems and tell you how they might impact your personal injury case if you’re in an accident.
Popular Modern Vehicle Safety Features
Auto manufacturers recognize that safety is a top priority for car buyers, and they have responded by developing a wide variety of safety features to make their vehicles safer. From online diagnostics to automatic braking, we have put together a list of the three most popular and effective new safety features from recent years.
- Connected Vehicles
Internet connectivity is changing the way that we use our vehicles. Onboard navigation has made it easier and less distracting to get to our destinations, especially when we are driving through unfamiliar territory. Cars that automatically call emergency services in a collision have improved response times and injury outcomes. Even having a car’s diagnostic computer connected to the internet can help spot maintenance issues early and get them fixed before they cause a crash.
- Lane Departure Warnings and Blind Spot Monitoring
Improper lane changes account for approximately 10% of reported crashes each year, and the most severe among these wrecks usually occur on freeways at high speeds. Lane departure warning systems alert drivers when they are drifting over lane markers without signaling, and blind spot monitoring systems notify drivers when something in their blind spot is obstructing their path. Some of these systems even apply the brakes or actively steer you back into your lane.
- Collision Avoidance Systems
Forward collision avoidance systems take many forms. Some will alert the driver about a potential threat, such as a slow or stopped vehicle. Others go even further and apply the brakes for the driver if they do not react in time. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has conducted research on how collision avoidance systems could impact fatalities and injuries in crashes, and their findings are remarkable.
An analysis of rear-end crashes between 2011 and 2012 showed that 2,200 out of 3,491 fatalities during that time could have been prevented with a collision avoidance system (CAS). For passenger vehicle crashes in particular, a CAS could have been effective in preventing or lessening the severity of injuries in 93.7% of crashes.
Given the potential of these technologies for saving lives and preventing or reducing injuries, drivers should keep an eye out for these features when they are considering purchasing a new vehicle.
However, just because your car is equipped with state-of-the art safety technology doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax behind the wheel.
Even With Advanced Safety Features, Drivers Are Still Responsible for Their Actions on the Road
Innovations in car safety — from seat belts to antilock brakes — have been adopted in the past, and laws have (slowly) changed to address the new reality of vehicle safety as well.
One thing that has not changed is driver responsibility in the event of a crash. Regardless of which cutting-edge technologies are installed in your vehicle, you are still ultimately responsible for the safety of yourself and others on the road.
By the same token, if you have been hit by a reckless driver and you were not at fault, you are the victim — and you deserve to receive justice and compensation for your injuries and losses. If advanced safety systems were involved in the crash, your case may be more complex. (For example, you may be able to pursue other avenues of compensation if a safety system malfunctioned.)
But the fundamental facts of driver responsibility don’t change just because the car is able to warn drivers of a crash or even take action to avoid a collision.
Crosley Law Firm: Advocating for Texas Car Accident Victims
If you have been injured or even lost a loved one due to another driver’s reckless actions, Crosley Law Firm is here to listen to your story and provide you with candid legal advice about what your best course of action is moving forward. Call us today at 210-LAW-3000 (210-529-3000), or fill out a brief online form. We’ll get in touch with you promptly to schedule your free consultation.
There is a time limit for filing personal injury claims after a car accident, so don’t wait. Contact Crosley Law Firm today.
Basav, S., Smith, J. D., & Wassim, G. N. (2003, March). Analysis of lane change crashes (Report No. DOT HS 809 571). Cambridge, MA: John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/doths809571.pdf.
The use of forward collision avoidance systems to prevent and mitigate rear-end crashes (Special Investigation Report NTSB/SIR-15-01). (2015, May 19). Washington, D.C.: National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved from https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Documents/SIR1501.pdf.
Volkman, E. (2016, March 23). Instant analysis: Carmakers agree to make automatic emergency braking standard by 2022. MySA. Retrieved from http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/fool/article/Instant-Analysis-Carmakers-Agree-to-Make-6976390.php.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.