Driving has certainly become much safer since the 1960s. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 1964 there were more than 45,000 fatalities due to auto collisions. In terms of the actual danger per mile driven, that equated to 5.39 deaths per 100 million miles. In 2013, fatalities had declined to 32,719 with just 1.11 deaths per 100 million miles driven. That decline in fatalities (and injuries) comes due to the fact that more people wear seatbelts nowadays, cars are much safer with features such as front and curtain airbags; road surfaces have improved; and there is now much stricter, and more, law enforcement. However, despite the trend in fewer fatalities over the years, there was a stark difference between 2014 and 2015. The numbers aren’t out yet, but Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said that estimates possibly put 2015 on par with 2007, which saw over 40,000 people lose their lives in auto accidents. Deciphering trends in auto fatalities can be a challenge, and the exact reasons as to why 2015 was such a deadly year are still being figured out. However, with car safety features expanding to many new cars, shouldn’t the roadways be getting safer? Below are a few examples of auto safety technology that is being used in millions of cars already on the roadways.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Next Generation ESC
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) senses when a driver is losing traction during an emergency braking scenario and applies the brakes to the particular wheels required to keep the car from skidding further out of control. Next generation ESC can provide subtle steering assistance, throttle reduction, and rear-wheel steering.
Stop and Go Cruise Control
A new type of cruise control allows drivers to use it even during stop and go traffic. The system monitors the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front, and can even bring you to a complete stop if necessary to keep that safe distance.
Lane Departure Warning Systems
Texting and talking on the phone are becoming serious problems. Automotive Fleet reports that 40 percent of all auto collisions involve the use of a cell phone. Side mounted cameras can now detect when a driver is inadvertently drifting out of lane, which often occurs while texting or talking on the phone, and will issue chimes and flashing lights to get the driver’s attention.
Will Technology Make Driving Safer?
With traffic fatalities on the rise, the question of these technologies’ usefulness arise. Do they offer actual safety or, like electronic devices, do they provide a distraction from the road? Are we looking for solutions to a problem that doesn’t need to be fixed? Is it safety features we need or do our driving habits need to change? As long as people are behind the wheel while texting, falling asleep, drinking alcohol, speeding to get to work on time, and daydreaming when they should be making careful decisions while controlling the speed and direction of their 4,000 pound vehicle, collisions will continue to occur and lives will continue to be torn apart. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury due to someone else’s carelessness, contact an experienced Charlotte car accident attorney at once for legal advice. An attorney can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for compensation for your injuries.