Collision Avoidance Technology to Reduce the Severity of Traffic Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States each year. Between January and June of 2015 nearly 19,000 people were killed and almost 2.3 million serious injuries occurred due to motor vehicle accidents. This was a 14% increase from the previous year and the estimated cost of these accidents was up 24%, at around $152 billion. The National Transportation Safety Board Office of Public Affairs (NTSB) issued a report last June that recommended that all new passenger and commercial vehicles come equipped with the collision avoidance technology that is currently available. However, only about four out of every 684 passenger vehicle models in 2014 were equipped with this technology as a standard feature.
What is Collision Avoidance Technology?
The term collision avoidance includes a wide variety of vehicle features or technologies that assist the driver in operating the vehicle safely. This could include things like front crash prevention systems, which involve sensors or cameras to detect when the vehicle is getting too close to the object in front of it. Some of the more advanced systems can detect pedestrians and can brake automatically, which could help reduce the severity of an accident or resulting injuries. There are also lane departure warning systems and lane keeping support, which alerts the driver if the car strays into another lane. Curve-adaptive headlights help drivers see better at night while driving on curved roads and blind spot detection systems alert drivers if a vehicle is detected in their blind spot. Electronic stability control systems utilize sensors and a microcomputer to monitor how the vehicle is responding to a driver’s steering input. The system modulates the engine power and brakes to keep the vehicle traveling along a path according to the steering wheel position, which helps drivers maintain control over vehicles on curves and wet roads.
What is the Potential Impact of Collision Avoidance Technology?
According to the data, the use of front crash prevention systems is likely the most effective at reducing the severity of rear-end collisions and thereby lessening the extent of injuries involved. Rear-end crashes alone kill 1,700 people every year and injure 500,000 people. The NTSB believes that 80% of deaths and injuries could have been mitigated with a collision avoidance system. Front crash prevention systems were an option in half of the 784 new models sold in 2015, but only 27% of all new models offer a system that will automatically brake to prevent a rear-end crash.
Electronic stability control has been a standard feature on 2012 or later models and has been shown to reduce the risk of a fatal single-vehicle crash by 50% and the risk of fatal rollover by as much as 80%.
Contact an Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
If you have suffered injury in an accident in either North Carolina or South Carolina that was caused by another party’s negligence, please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible claim.