Technology has played a significant role in improving road safety since the invention of motor vehicles as a means of transport in 1886. Early innovations like laminated glass, seat belts, airbags, and turn signals have now become standard features across most modern cars, as safety technology evolves to even more complex systems.
Below, we take a look at a few innovative technologies that have made the driving experience safer.
Lane Departure Warning Systems
As the name suggests, lane departure warning systems assist drivers to stick to their lane in case of accidental departures that may arise out of drowsiness or driver error. These systems will give audible or visual warnings to alert the driver, and if there is no response, some will take over and ensure that the driver remains in their lane.
This technology aims to avoid unintentional lane departure, one of the leading causes of single-vehicle accidents and frontal crashes. Lane departure warning systems are part of driver-assist technologies that have gone a long way in making our roads safer.
Automatic Braking Systems/Collision Avoidance Systems
Collision avoidance technologies detect obstacles or even pedestrians in front of the vehicles and automatically apply brakes to prevent or reduce the force of a crash. Automatic braking systems use radars and sensors to analyze the environment and warn the driver in case of a likely collision.
Rear-end crashes could soon be a thing of the past when such automatic braking systems are installed in all vehicles.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Also referred to as dynamic stability control, ESC improves vehicle stability by braking individual wheels to prevent skidding and loss of control. It monitors a vehicle’s steering, compares the driver’s intended direction to the vehicle’s, and makes the necessary adjustments.
With more than 1,900 lives saved by this technology in 2015 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made it a mandatory requirement for cars manufactured after 2012.
Speed Monitoring and Warning Systems
About a third of all motor vehicle crashes result from speeding, a problem that this technology seeks to mitigate.
Speed monitoring systems use GPS to know of a vehicle’s location, the speed limits in the particular area, and warn the driver if they are speeding. In some instances, the systems will automatically reduce the speed, although drivers can always override them.
Fully Automated Vehicles
The future of road safety lies in autonomous vehicles capable of operating with little to no human input. Such vehicles remove the element of human error, which is a major cause of crashes.
With the advancement in artificial intelligence, this technology is only set to improve and eliminate the need for human drivers. Self-driving cars capable of reading road signs are pretty common nowadays, and it’s only a matter of time before fully automated vehicles hit the roads.
Technology and Car Crashes. Where Does Liability Lie?
While technology has made driving safer, crashes are sometimes inevitable. Human error continues to be a significant cause of accidents, and even with fully automated vehicles, the complex technology can sometimes be flawed or manipulated. You may wonder where liability will lie in the event of an accident involving a self-driving car like the Uber crash that claimed a life.
Given that such technology is rapidly evolving, it might not be so straightforward. The laws governing such innovations are constantly changing to keep up with new developments in the field.
You might need to get in touch with a reputable car accident law firm to clarify who is liable for the crash. Depending on the state in which the accident occurred and the circumstances surrounding it, various parties could be held accountable.