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The Evolution of Vehicle Safety Features

June 17th, 2020
Vehicle Technology - Distracted Driver

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the average vehicle on the road in 2012 had an estimated 56 percent lower fatality risk for its occupants than the average vehicle on the road in the late 1950s. Thanks to in-depth research and engineering, which have contributed to backup cameras, blind spot detection and driver-assisted technologies, vehicle safety has improved drastically over the years. Today, the auto accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Dale E. Anstine are highlighting vehicle safety technology and explaining what it means for drivers.

Air Bags

Back in the 1950s when the first airbag was invented, a major concern was the force at which the air bags deployed. Although these airbags saved lives, they also caused injuries to many. Today, after years of reengineering and testing, most vehicles offer frontal and side curtain air bags as standard features to prevent injuries and death in the event of an accident.

Air bags can only prevent injuries and death in the event of an accident if used properly. Remember to never place small children in the front seat. The force of frontal airbags can seriously injure small children, so always keep them in the back. It is also important to remember to keep your feet off the dash. In the event of an accident, air bags deploy with great force which can send your knees back towards your face and cause injuries to your feet and legs.

Back Up Cameras

In the past, many auto accidents have occurred because individuals could not see and detect other vehicles approaching from their side while backing up. Today, back up cameras help prevent accidents by allowing drivers to see what is behind them and alert them to other vehicles approaching from the side. As of May 1, 2018, rearview video systems are a required technology in all new cars.

Although back up cameras are helpful, it is recommended that drivers still turn around to check what is behind them before backing up. Back up cameras should be used as an aid, but not relied on as the only view when in reverse.

Blind Spot Detection

Accidents caused by drivers who collide with other vehicles in a blind spot as they are changing lanes or merging into traffic can cause serious injuries. Today, with the development of sensors and cameras, newer vehicles alert drivers if a vehicle is in an adjacent lane, which has prevented many accidents.

Similar to back up cameras, although this technology is helpful, drivers should not rely on it. The car accident lawyers at Dale E. Anstine recommend still checking your mirrors and turning your head to check blind spots before merging or switching lanes. Do not assume just because a sensor is not lit up that there is not a car in the lane next to you.

Driver Assistance

Driver-assisted technology is when a vehicle is controlled by a driver but has assistance from an automated program. This evolution of technology has brought us advancements such as forward collision warning, automatic braking, lane departure alerts and adaptive cruise control. Many of these features are only available in newer model vehicles, but with the evolution of automotive safety in the next few years, it’s likely these technologies will become more and more standard in newer makes and models. To learn more about driver assistance, check out our blog on self-driving vehicles.

Although driver-assisted technology can reduce the number of accidents on the roadways, it can still cause problems, especially for drivers who allow it to take more control than it should and take their focus off the road. As the name implies, it is critical to use this technology for assistance, but not rely on it 100 percent. The driver is in control of the vehicle and should be alert and taking all necessary actions to keep themselves and others on the roadway safe.

Keeping Your Focus on the Road

The evolution and growth of technology in vehicles is focused on assisting drivers, making vehicles safer and ultimately making the ride more enjoyable for drivers. Features like touchscreens in the dashboard, which can be used for satellite radio, GPS, and even for text messages and other in-car guidance and entertainment solutions are becoming more standard in new models. Although these features sound nice, it is important to not get distracted by them. Remember when driving to always keep your eyes on the road. Looking down for just a few seconds to switch the song or mess with the GPS can lead to devastating accidents. Always get your radio, GPS, and other features set up before putting the vehicle in drive.

Having an Experienced Attorney on YOUR Side

Even with safer vehicles, accidents are not 100 percent preventable. Technology fails, drivers get distracted, human error occurs and several other factors can lead to an accident that causes serious injuries.
While we hope you never need us, if you or someone you love is injured in a car accident, get an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. At the Law Offices of Dale E. Anstine, we understand the complexities of accident and injury law and can walk you through the process. Your injury is our fight and we will fight for your rights to compensation! Reach out to our team of experienced accident lawyers in PA today for a FREE consultation.