At any one time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is conducting dozens of research-intensive projects to make our lives safer. Last month, the agency announced that one such venture could yield more than $3 billion in economic profits, and prevent 300 fatalities every year, so we thought it might be worth looking into.
After years of research and evaluations, the NHTSA believes that crash-avoidance technology for large trucks could have enormous benefits to the public. The term “crash avoidance” denotes a wide variety of vehicle features, which are designed to help a driver operate their vehicle safely. Generally, this means monitoring the driver’s input, as well as the environment around the vehicle, scanning for hazards, and reacting to potential collisions to avoid collisions, or at least lessen their impacts.
A recent study conducted with the University of Michigan Research Institute estimates that the economic benefits of the measure could range from $900 million for older technology on heavy-duty trucks, to $3.1 billion if future technology is installed on medium and large sized trucks as well. The system, which has already sold 10,000 systems in its first year, is built on anti-lock brakes, using a combination of radar and software to alert a driver of an imminent collision. If the driver isn’t able to react in time, the system then automatically engages the vehicles brakes to lessen the impact of the crash. Meritor Wabco, the primary producer of the system says they expect to sell 15,000 additional systems this year, at a price of $2,400 each. (Transport Topics News)
Large truck accidents are a serious problem on American roadways, but burgeoning crash avoidance technologies address a huge variety of safety concerns, across a wide range of vehicles including:
• Forward collision avoidance
• Adaptive cruise control • Lane departure warning and prevention • Blind spot detection • Parking assistance
• Reverse back over prevention • Adaptive headlights • Curve speed warnings
• Fatigue warnings • Electronic stability controls • Anti-lock brakes (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
These features are getting better and better with each model year, and they have a tremendous potential to save lives and prevent injury. However, it is important to note that these safety devices are meant to act as a supplement to an attentive and conscientious operator, not as a free pass for distracted drivers.
Our lawyers have devoted their careers to representing accident victims and know that many accidents can be avoided if drivers exercise proper caution. We have successfully resolved many cases for accident victims, and continue to dedicate ourselves to helping our clients get back on their feet. If you or someone you know has been injured by a negligent or reckless driver, give us a call and see how our experience can go to work for you.