For many years, the marketing of car technology to consumers was all about aesthetics, power, size, and entertainment. Car makers advertised sleeker designs, bigger SUVs, faster sports cars, and fancy bluetooth, GPS, and stereo systems. And while Volvo always had a (perhaps undeserved) reputation as a “safer” car than others, it has only been in more recent years that car makers on the whole have gone out of their way to market and develop cutting-edge safety features. And for good reason, as automobile crashes still claim over 32,000 lives each year, and the NHTSA reported that such deaths were on the rise in 2015. In many of these cases, a wrongful death case may be pursued by the family of the deceased against all parties who acted wrongfully in bringing about the accident.
Many automobile crashes are of course preventable by a change in human driving behavior, but, because you can’t control other drivers’ behavior in most cases, it’s important for car makers to incorporate technological advances in the name of safety. Ironically, technology is at least partially to blame for increases in U.S. collisions, as more people are engaging with smartphones and other devices (i.e. texting, emailing, etc.) while driving. That said, the following five innovations in automotive technology are an encouraging sign of a shift forward in safety and which could potentially save lives and prevent serious injuries and property damages:
- Automatic Crash Notification (ACN): This is a tool that works with smartphones to alert authorities to the location and severity of a crash. While this does not prevent a crash, this technology means victims get faster help, rather than waiting on passing motorists to stop and call authorities, increasing the survival rate of those involved in serious accidents.
- Vehicle to Vehicle Communication: This technology lets cars “talk” to each other to better avoid accidents. Lawmakers are hoping this will become a standard feature for vehicles as early as next year.
- Lane Departure Warning System: This is a a collision avoidance tool that senses when a driver is unintentionally moving out of the appropriate lane. Some systems warn the driver through alarms or other alerts, while others actually automatically move the car back into the proper lane. This technology should be particularly helpful in avoiding head-on accidents, which cause many fatalities.
- Precrash System: Similar to the Lane Departure Warning System, the Precrash System senses when a collision is about to occur, through use of radar or laser technology, and then warns the driver and/or automatically steers the car to avoid or at least mitigate a collision.
- Vision Enhancement Technology: This helps reduce blind spots, sometimes with infrared or side mirror lights that sensors on the bumper trigger. Reducing blind spots can prevent small fender benders and more serious collisions.
Pasadena Wrongful Death Attorney Expects Better Road Safety
As more and more people are engaging in distracted driving and the car-dependent baby boomer population ages, technological features that improve safety will be more and more important. Expect new cars to have technological improvements like these built into their systems over the coming years. In the meantime, however, accidents will continue to happen, and when they result in death of a loved one, you will want a wrongful death attorney on your side who can pursue the recovery you are owed under California law. If you have lost a loved one in car accident, contact Pasadena wrongful death attorney Andrew Ritholz for a free consultation.