Driving is becoming safer and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the numbers to prove it. Back in 1964, an astounding 45,000 people lost their lives in auto crashes. 5.39 people died for every 100 million miles driven. More recently in 2013, the number of fatalities declined to 32,719, and just 1.10 deaths per 100 million miles driven. Much of the decline in auto fatalities, and rate of death and injury, is thanks to past and recent advancements in safety technology such as seat belts (and laws enforcing their use), front and curtain airbags, and a variety of newer features listed below.
Next-Generation Electronic Stability Control
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) applies brakes to one or more wheels at a time when it senses the car is sliding out of control. ESC has been around for a while now, and starting in 2012, became mandatory for all new cars to be equipped with it. However, next-generation ESC systems will provide assisted steering, throttle reduction, and even rear-wheel steering to provide even more stability and safety.
Brake Power Assist
Brake assist systems work by monitoring how hard the brake pedal is pressed in a panic situation and adds even more power to the brakes if it senses that the driver needs it and is not pressing hard enough.
Modern Cruise Control
Most people are familiar with using cruise control. You set it and the car stays at that speed unless you apply the brakes, press on the accelerator, slowly ratchet up or slow down the setting on the cruise control, or turn it off altogether. A new system is in place that monitors how far the vehicle ahead of you is, and adjusts the speed of your vehicle to keep a safe distance. Some manufacturers even have an adaptive cruise control that is so highly tuned that it can be used in stop and go traffic and even bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
Lane Departure Warning Systems
Side mounted cameras take the idea of rumble strips to a new place. If your vehicle senses that you are drifting too far out of the lane (for example: by looking at your phone or falling asleep), it beeps and flashes a light to attract your attention. This system is best used while on the freeway or highway.
Blind Spot Technology
Some vehicles are being outfitted with cameras and even radar technology to reduce blind spots. In addition to that, many newer vehicles come with low, rear-mounted cameras used when backing up. This is especially helpful to pedestrians and children that may be too short to see out the back window of a taller SUV or truck.
Pre-collision systems are one of the most recent advancements on the market for auto safety. These systems can sense an impending collision and quickly roll up the windows, charge the brakes and airbags, pre-tension seatbelts, and even make adjustments to the occupants’ seats for optimal safety.
Despite driving steadily becoming safer over the decades, car collisions are still unavoidable at times and in most cases, one of multiple parties is negligent. If you have been injured in a car crash, contact one of our experienced car accident attorneys at The Connell Law Firm, LLC. Give us a call as soon as possible to discuss your legal options today. Reach out to us by phone or online today – we serve clients in Columbia, South Carolina, and across the state.