Do smarter vehicles hold the key to reducing automobile accidents? Can accident prevention technology reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on American motorways? Vehicle manufacturers are currently rolling out some exciting new crash avoidance technologies. These include motion sensors. vehicle to vehicle communication, kinematics, integrated brake controls, and many others that have the potential to provide better protection to motorists and mitigate the risks inherent to operating a motor vehicle. A recent smart car killed an individual who was driving a Tesla because the car did not stop as it was going through an intersection and for whatever reason it did not stop and detect the crossing traffic. The owner was killed.
Over the past decades, seat belts and airbags have become standard technologies with a proven ability to save lives. It is estimated that seat belts saved almost 14,000 lives in 2015 alone, and over the past few decades, airbags are credited with having saved nearly 28,000 lives. These technologies are designed to protect vehicle occupants involved in an accident, however, future technologies are increasingly focused on preventing accidents altogether. Coupling these two concepts can provide enhanced protection to vehicle occupants and significantly reduce the number of accidents that occur each year. Many of our largest car and auto accident cases arise from people failing to use seat belts and the car rolls. They are severely injured, amputated or killed and could have been saved if they had worn their seat belt. A lot of these cases involve accidents with younger drivers who have not learned how important seat belts are.
Self-driving cars are no longer science fiction and it won't be long before they are routinely rolling down the road. The technology depends on vehicle-to-vehicle communication that collects, processes, and shares GPS data, vehicle speed, the direction of travel, road conditions, etc. These systems currently in development are expected to become available within one to two years. However, it won't be deployed on just self-driving vehicles. It will be installed on regular cars, as well. The technology will process the data it gathers and it will alert the driver when it determines that a threat is imminent. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology utilizes many of the same computers, sensors, and cameras that are currently installed on many models of vehicles.
Kinematics is another technology that could enhance the stability of motor vehicles. Kinematics works by altering the angle of the rear wheels to match the direction of the front wheels. This shortens the vehicle's turning radius, enhances agility, and creates greater stability, which may reduce the number of rollover accidents. Each year, these are responsible for roughly 35% of total traffic fatalities.
In 2018, integrated brake controls are expected to go into widespread production. These braking systems utilize the negative air pressure that is present within the vehicle's air-intakes to enhance the vehicle's braking capabilities. This creates faster braking and shortens the distance required to bring the vehicle to a complete stop. This could create a significant reduction in the number of rear-end accidents, off-roading accidents, and red light accidents. It may also reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities that occur in parking lots, intersections, and bike lanes.
Of course, vehicle manufacturers are not just focused on accident prevention. Accidents will still occur even when these technologies become commonplace. Vehicle manufacturers are also designing new types of airbags, seat belts, and other safety devices that can protect motorists from blunt force trauma, lacerations, and other injuries that can be sustained in an accident. Whether an automobile accident becomes imminent either through human or technological failure, drivers and vehicle occupants will have a better chance of walking away with bumps and bruises instead of more serious injuries.
Brad Pistotnik Law represents automobile accident victims, motorcycle accident victims, truck accident victims and farm accident victims and their survivors in Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, Lawrence, Garden City, Liberal, Dodge City, Colby, Hays, Salina, Emporia, Winfield,, Wellington and other cities throughout Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Whether the accident was the fault of the other driver, the failure of a component, negligent design and installation of accident prevention technology, etc., individuals can pursue compensation for claims to help cover their medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering their injuries have generated.
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