It’s a new year; resolutions have been made, and people are looking to the future, wondering what 2015 might have in store. At the very least, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes that key technological advances will bring a year with fewer traffic injuries and deaths. The NHTSA is our country’s preeminent automotive regulatory agency, and they are always working on one project or another to improve public safety on the road. At any one time the NHTSA is conducting dozens of research-intensive projects aimed at making our lives safer. According to recent reports, one such venture could yield more than $3 billion in profits for the United States economy, and prevent some 300 fatalities every year.
Following years of research and intensive 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 all designed to help a driver operate their vehicle safely. Generally, this includes monitoring the driver’s input, as well as their environment, scanning for hazards, and reacting to potential hazards to avoid collisions, or at least lessen their impacts.
A recent study conducted at the University of Michigan Research Institute estimated that the economic benefits of this measure would likely 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 units 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 these 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 may promise tremendous potential in saving lives and preventing 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 more than 150 combined years working to protect the rights of people who have suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents, and many of these could have been avoided if a driver had just used proper caution. We have fought and won many lawsuits for accident victims, and continue to dedicate ourselves to helping our clients get back on their feet and get the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured by a negligent or reckless driver, call us and see how our experience can go to work for you.