How technology assists in accident reduction
Let us have a closer look at the technologies that reduce car accidents, thereby saving lives and preventing injuries.
What is that one fear that lurks in your mind when you sit behind the wheel, it is the fear of getting involved in an accident. This is because serious crashes may result in debilitating injuries or even death. Sadly, accidents happen and it is not always your mistake.
Car designers and vehicle safety experts have been racking their brains to add safety features to cars, to protect the occupants in case of accidents. However, their focus had always been on passenger safety, the reason why there has been more stress on seatbelts and airbags.
However, the emphasis has now shifted to minimizing the chances of accidents. In this regard, technology has come as a shot in the arm. Technological advancements are ensuring a reduction in car accidents. Today, there are technologies that are designed to react to specific situations, while others warn of potential dangers to help you to react in time to avoid accidents.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
ECS is a crash avoidance technology that prevents a car from sliding out of control on snow on braking. It reduces up to 50 percent chances of someone getting killed in roll-over crash or a run-off-road crash.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
There is a preponderance of incidents where cars crash into the rear of stationary vehicles. The collision avoidance system was developed as a warning system that enabled the driver to take immediate action via flashing lights and blaring alarm. However, AEB takes it a step further. It automatically applies brakes before a crash can happen, in the event you fail to heed all warnings.
Lane departure warning and prevention
Many times, it happens that the driver either nods off on the wheel or unconsciously drifts out of his or her lane. Lane departure warning and prevention system not only warns you of drifting by means of beeps, blinking dashboard lights or vibrating steering wheel, but it also assists you in steering the car back into your lane.
If you want to change lanes and a vehicle is too close to your side, your side view mirror may not show its presence. This is the blind spot and a ready recipe for accidents. Blind spot detection and monitoring system help ‘see’ such blind spots and detects the presence of vehicles by means of a radar. It warns the driver by vibrating the steering wheel.
Front/rear cross-traffic alert
At times you take a chance without actually being able to see the traffic on the road to back your car from the parking slot. Even at an intersection, you are blind to approaching cars. It is in situations like these that these systems come in handy. Some are designed to make the car brake automatically when an approaching car is detected, while others only give warning signals for you to react.
Automatic and adaptive headlights
Entering a tunnel or any unlit stretch require the headlights to be switched on. The automatic light system is designed to turn them on automatically in the dark, thereby saving you the trouble of flipping them on. They also automatically turned off, when the car emerges from the tunnel. Furthermore, while making a turn on a road in darkness, your eyes tend to follow the headlights that aim straight ahead. Adaptive headlights are designed to turn as you turn the steering wheel. This way you are able to see a dark curve for any sudden appearance of a vehicle, pedestrian or an animal.
Forward Collision Systems (FCS)
Crashes due to a temporary lapse in alertness while driving, such as checking messages on mobile phones, are on the rise. A moment of distraction can result in rear-ending the car in front. The FCS makes use of a radar that senses the rapidly closing gap between your car and the one in front. It automatically takes control of your car to reduce the severity of the impact.
Adaptive cruise control
With this technology, the driver is able to select and maintain a constant speed without the use of the accelerator. What’s more, this system senses the distance of the car ahead and take action to maintain a safe distance from it. Some systems also incorporate emergency braking for avoiding crashes.
Future trends in technology
Car safety has some more technologies on the anvil that will further reduce car accidents. Let us see what they are:
- Vehicle-to-vehicle communication: This feature of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, will enable self-driving cars to communicate with each other in order to forewarn of any dangers by detecting pedestrians, bicycles, pets, etc. in its vicinity. In case of detection, the new age sensor technology will adjust the speed of the car accordingly. Inter-car communication will also create network-based traffic management system by integrating the GPS coordinates and the speed of the cars, thereby eliminating human error.
- Traction Control System (TCS): Quick starting off or rapid acceleration produces wheel spin, especially on a wet or slippery road surface. TCS works in conjunction with Antilock Braking System (ABS). While ABS prevents locking during braking by reducing the braking pressure, TCS arrests wheel spin, while driving off or accelerating. With TCS, the traction of the vehicle is greatly improved.
- Active Kinematics Control (AKC): AKC allows the rear wheels to assist the front steering angle, thereby providing enhanced stability, agility and comfort, especially when changing direction. This is brought about by the electronically controlled active track actuators in the rear that get triggered by the steering movements of the rear wheels.
One great advantage of technology in reducing car accidents is that it is eliminating the requirement of seatbelts and airbags. The focus now is shifting from protecting the vehicle occupants to preventing crashes in the first place. New safety systems are increasingly being inculcated in modern cars to eliminate the chances of accidents.
However, we need to follow the basic rules and regulations and be a responsible driver and even more alert pedestrian. We need to teach the kids about road safety rules and regulations.
Click here to learn more about the legal aspects, if your kid gets involved in an accident in order to extract full compensation from the erring driver.