Just the thought of a traffic accident can be terrifying. The epidemic of deaths and disabilities related to roadway crashes is a significant public health concern around the world.
Each year, almost 1.25 million people die in roadway crashes, and another 20 to 50 million are injured or disabled.
Despite these daunting statistics, most crashes are predictable and prevention is possible. There are general ways to help prevent roadway crashes, such as increased awareness, more enforcement of laws, and better policies related to certain industries such as trucking. There is also the availability of technology to help avert accidents.
Technology to avoid accidents is something that is used by industries but can also be used by individuals.
The following are some of the key ways technology is used to help prevent traffic accidents.
Trucking and Commercial Vehicles
There is a growing amount of technology available in the commercial vehicle industry that can help keep truckers as well as other people on the roads safer, but it’s not always used.
One report found that only around 15% of commercial fleets have technology like automatic emergency brakes and forward collision warning features.
There currently isn’t legislation enforcing that older trucks be retrofitted with new technology, which may be one of the reasons it’s not employed on a larger scale.
Other technology available for commercial vehicles that’s similar to some of the feature’s cars are being equipped with include lane departure warnings, blind-spot technology, and electronic stability control.
In the commercial trucking industry, there is also a big focus on the potential implications of autonomous trucks, although this is relevant in passenger vehicles as well.
We’re still not entirely sure how autonomous or self-driving trucks and cars will affect roadway safety because many of these vehicles are in their early testing stages.
Car Safety Features
If you’re at a point where you’re considering the purchase of a new car, you might wonder about the best high-tech features that will actually improve safety.
There are a few systems that tend to excel more than others in improving safety.
- Forward-Collision Warnings: This technology helps you avoid a possible collision with a car, and it’s associated with a reduction in rear-end crashes of 27%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. People who have the feature also tend to be happy with it. According to a Consumer Reports survey, 68% of owners with this tech feature say they’ve very satisfied with it.
- Automatic Emergency Braking: If you have this technology and your system senses a possible accident and you don’t react in time; the system will engage. There are three different subcategories of automatic emergency braking technology. There is a low-speed system, and this is to help with the prevention of minor injuries and crashes on city streets. There is a high-speed system as well as a pedestrian system.
- Lane Departure Warning: If you cross lane markings and you don’t use your turn signal; a lane departure warning feature will let you know.
- Lane-Keeping Assist: This is a similar feature to lane departure warning technology, but instead of a warning, it provides automated assistance if a vehicle begins drifting out of their lane.
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert: This feature is like a back-up camera in some ways, but it lets you know if something is approaching you while a back-up camera lets you know about stationary objects. This feature would work well if you were in a parking lot and there were moving cars as an example, or even people or shopping carts.
- Autonomous Cruise Control: A more advanced form of cruise control, this feature automates your car’s speed adjustment so that you maintain a safe distance from the vehicles that are in front of you.
Other Safety-Related Technology
There are other things aside from what might come with a new vehicle that can be helpful.
For example, there are features of the iPhone operating system that include something called Do Not Disturb While Driving Mode. It can block incoming calls and texts when your car is connected to your phone via Bluetooth or when it senses the motion of driving.
With this feature, a text can be automatically sent to let the person calling or texting you know you’re driving, and you’ll get back to them later.
There are also apps like Drivesafe.ly. This app reads text messages and emails aloud so you can keep your eyes on the road, and similar apps like Drivemode do the same.