In-car technology has come a long way in recent years. In fact, cars are now able to do things that, in years past, were only a figment of the imagination. But, what is the result of these in-car technologies? Do in-car technologies actually help prevent auto accidents? Or do they give drivers a false sense of security?
New Safety Technologies
The most notable in-car safety technologies include the following:
- Forward collision avoidance systems with autonomous braking, which use forward facing radar to detect when an obstacle is ahead and automatically apply the brakes when a collision is near.
- Lane departure systems, which use cameras to detect when the vehicle has left its lane without the driver using his turn signal.
- Adaptive headlights that turn with the steering wheel to provide more light as a vehicle turns a corner.
Of these technologies, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that forward-collision avoidance systems with autonomous braking have made a measurable difference in insurance claims. Because the system can slow down and even stop the car in the event of an imminent rear impact to avoid major damage, it can go a long way in preventing a car accident.
For instance, the IIHS looked at claims data for Volvo’s forward-collision avoidance systems on the S60 and XC60 vehicles, and found a 15-16 percent reduction in property damage liability. With respect to injury claims, the S60 saw an 18 percent reduction in claims and the XC60 had 33 percent fewer injury claims.
Possible Future Safety Technologies
Some experts predict that cars may soon have a form of Wi-Fi that could allow the car to not only see what is in front of it, but to also see other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists around the corner or over the next hill. To test the system, the University of Michigan, eight auto makers, and the Department of Transportation joined forces to equip over 3,000 vehicles in Ann Arbor, Michigan with the Wi-Fi sensors. Data from the trial is being collected to help the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to decide whether to formally pursue the technology.
Dangerous In-Car Technologies
One in-car technology that has not been shown to prevent auto accidents is Bluetooth technology for cell phone communications. In fact, by most accounts, such technologies are actually making the roads more dangerous. AAA recently warned that even hands-free-voice-based systems, such as Bluetooth, impede a driver’s ability to operate a car safety because it diverts the driver’s attention from the task of driving.
Other experts fear that in-car safety technologies may actually be encouraging risky behavior by making drivers feel safer. While safety features like stability control have not been shown to cause an increase in risky driving, technologies like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warnings are designed with the distracted driver in mind and could encourage risky or distracted driving.
Get Help from Skilled Chicago Injury Lawyers
Although the negatives of in-car technologies do not outweigh the positives, motorists are reminded to maintain full attention on the task of driving at all times and are warned not to rely on vehicle technology to prevent a car accident.
The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Offices, LLC are committed to promoting driver safety and helping the victims of auto accidents obtain the financial recovery that they deserve. If you have been injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact Ankin Law Office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.