Car manufacturers have been working hard in recent years to add safety features to their vehicles. New technologies are intended both to reduce the impact that a crash can have on the body and to prevent a collision from occurring in the first place. These technologies include features such as backup cameras; adaptive cruise control; forward collision warning and mitigation systems; lane departure warnings; and adaptive headlights.
Many of the advanced safety features are being offered as an optional add-on, or even as a standard feature. For example, half of all 2014 vehicles offered lane departure warning systems as an option. Despite their increasing use, there have been few studies done to determine whether they are actually working to stop collisions. This is a problem, especially if drivers come to count on technology to stop crashes.
Ultimately, drivers need to remember that they are responsible for all of their actions behind the wheel. Motorists still need to stay alert, stay in their lanes, check their mirrors before they back up and make other choices to protect the safety of other motorists- regardless of what technologies are in their vehicle. If drivers do not do these things and a collision occurs as a result, a Charleston, SC car accident lawyer should be consulted to help victims pursue legal action for damages.
How Effective are In-Vehicle Safety Technologies
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a comprehensive report recently assessing the effectiveness of some of the top in-vehicle safety features.
The report showed that many technologies have a long way to go towards making a substantial impact on collision avoidance. While the collision-avoidance features may work as one of many tools drivers have to reduce the chances of a crash, they are prone to problems that often arise when they are most needed.
For example, lane departures systems tended to malfunction when a driver is in a construction zone; when lines on the pavement have become faded; and when the weather is bad.
Technologies designed to help drivers identify vehicles in their blind spot are also imperfect, and generally do not work very well when vehicles are going at high speeds. Many drivers use this technology primarily when passing or merging on highways, which is precisely the time when the technology would be the least likely to be effective.
Blind spot detection systems had an especially difficult time identifying motorcycles in a driver’s blind spot. Motorcycles were not detected until 26 percent later than larger vehicles on average according to AOL Autos. By the time the motorcycle was identified by the blind spot detection device, the car was just 14-feet away from it. Even more troubling problems with motorcycles also occurred. If the motorcycle was going 50 miles faster than the car, the blind spot detection system never picked it up at all.
These are just a few of many examples of how in-vehicle safety technologies can fail to work effectively to protect drivers. Motorists need to remember that there is no substitute for using their own judgment to drive carefully. Victims also need to understand that drivers are responsible if their actions or failures lead to a crash. A Charleston, SC car accident lawyer can help those who have been harmed to pursue a damage claim. Call today to learn more.