Crash Avoidance: The Way of the Future
While education campaigns and state legislatures work to create safe drivers, car manufacturers work to create safer driving technologies to help us stay out of the way of dangers on the road.
Older safety technologies like airbags cushion impact during a collision. More recently, technology has been designed to alert us to impending danger and avoid impact if possible. Advances in sensor technology extend the ability of the car itself to detect danger to the rear, sides and front of the vehicle.
Two types of features becoming available on new and higher-end cars are:
- Lane departure technology: Lane departures are a too common cause of serious accidents like head-on collisions. Although rumble strips built into the road give motorists a jolt when they cross over the centerline, lane departure technology monitors the area around your vehicle to detect and maintain your lane position. A beep, flashing light or vibrating steering wheel alerts the driver to a dangerous position — and possibly wakes up a sleepy driver.
- Automatic brakes: As the driving task is slowly taken over by the car itself, automatic brakes continue the path of development begun with power braking. Too often, motorists are unable to see or anticipate objects like cars, people or debris on the road in time to avoid a collision. An autonomous braking system senses obstacles in the road — even around a corner — and automatically begins to apply the brake system to avoid the object. Used in conjunction with forward night vision, autonomous braking systems could avoid many dangerous collisions with animals like deer on a dark road.
These are just a few of the features in development. A time may come when cars drive themselves — or close to it. In the meantime, if you suffer injury in a car accident caused by a negligent driver in California, talk to a reputable attorney to discuss a legal claim for compensation.