Car accidents are things we always hope will never happen to us or a loved one, but they happen every day. In some cases, car accident injuries can lead to long-lasting disabilities, injuries, chronic pain and even trigger chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia. With advances in science, technology and manufacturing, cars are getting smarter and safer, which might help in reducing accidents and the knock-on effects to our bodies. This collaborative post takes a look at how vehicles might be able to help in cutting collisions.
★ ★ ★
The Cost Of Car Accident Injuries
The three 3 Cs – Cost, Comfort, and unfortunately Collisions – are things we take into consideration as car users. Unfortunately, being on the road exposes you to higher risks of car collisions, whether you’re a driver or a passenger. It is fair to say that not all accidental impacts have devastating consequences. But they even when the body isn’t harmed, a collision can still have lasting consequences when it comes to cost. Car insurance costs, for instance, will consider recent collisions in their premiums. Similarly, as car insurers understand the prevalence of collisions and accidents on the road, they make sure that even the most basic coverage will include collision coverage. But this begs one important question: what if our vehicles could help prevent accidents?
There’s no denying that car insurance costs are a misery to have to pay, but insurance is vital for those “just in case” events. Reducing the likelihood of needing to claim on our policies alongside the risk of injuries can only be a good thing.
As well as car designs becoming more user-friendly and build quality improving to limit the damage in the instance of a collision, there are also big steps being made when it comes to auto technology that could see road safety enhanced.
Introducing New Safety Technology
Automotive technology has evolved significantly in the past decade. Modern vehicles are now more likely to include some features that can significantly cut down dangerous situations on the road. Indeed, some features are designed to alert the driver of potential risks and even engage in automatic responses if the driver fails to react on time. This is often by way of a camera and laser-sensor system that monitors the road. Should an obstacle be identified, the driver receives an alert through audio and/or visual warnings. Automation comes when brake assistance is activated and automatically engages to prevent the accident.
There are a variety of preventive technologies around, and you can find out more about how they help protect those in the vehicle and bring the driver some peace of mind. Safety technologies have the potential to save lives on the road. However, they can also be disruptive if the driver is in a unique situation. For example, the vehicle may not be equipped to identify potholes. Yet, the driver sees the potholes and may want to swirl around to avoid them. This could be problematic if the vehicle is equipped with a lane departure alert which alerts the drivers when the car crosses over the road markings. As technology is honed continually over the years, these sorts of interferences are likely to be ironed out and improved to allow for more eventualities.
Self-Driving Vehicles Don’t Make Human User Mistakes
Self-driving cars are a divisive issues. There’s no denying the state-of-the-art technology is impressive, but concerns are ranged when it comes to safety and trust in computers. The one big advantage here is that computers aren’t prone to human error and they aren’t affected by issues that can afflict a human, like tiredness, poor eye-sight or headaches.
That is precisely why autonomous vehicles can have a huge safety potential. Unlike drivers, they are unlikely to make any human mistakes, like mid-judging distance, taking their eyes off the road when distracted by conversation in the car, or getting irate because a traffic jam. As insurance law and regulation experts explain, 90% of accidents are the result of driver error. A driverless vehicle is never going to drive too fast, take risks, suffer road rage, or consume illicit substances. Experts believe that once self-driving technology becomes safe and effective, car insurance costs could drop significantly.
Unfortunately, autonomous vehicles are not exactly road-safe at the moment. There is still hope for driverless cars to be part of the near future as the technology already exists. However, there’s a catch-22 to the development of self-driving cars. They remove fallible users out of the equation to make roads safer, but they also need users to be involved in their development. When one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles hit a pedestrian, the footage revealed that the car didn’t slow down.
What’s more alarming is that not only did the technology fail, but the human driver inside the vehicle also failed to activate the brakes. The person in a driverless car needs to be engaged and prepared for such instances, but the reliance is on the technology and so responses aren’t immediate as they need to be. In other words, unsafe drivers and human error are the main arguments for driverless technology, but they are also its main obstacle.
In conclusion, while in theory cars can play an active role in the prevention of accidents, they currently require drivers to engage with the road. Can a driverless car be the road safety solution we need? The answer implies that safe drivers are to influence the vehicle technology of the future and that safety will hopefully increase in the years to come. Enhanced safety and driving efficiency will mean less rates of injury, chronic pain and illness caused by car accidents and collisions.
I personally don’t like the idea of driverless cars, at all. But I do think the technology is incredible and I think the evolving capabilities could serve to enhance the driver’s experience as well as their safety, such as with sensors and automatic back-up breaking. Even dash-cams are proving to be useful in many cases of collisions, damage or theft.
Do you think car manufacturers have a duty to improve the safety of vehicles through advances in technology, or should the focus be on the drivers themselves and reducing human error?
[ This is a collaborative post ]