WASHINGTON, April 15, 2016 – Driving your car is still a dangerous task with an average of 6 million car accidents happening in the U.S. every year. Traffic related deaths have been decreasing over the past few decades with a higher focus on vehicle safety, policy changes, and car manufacturers working to make cars safer for consumers. In the technological age that we live in it’s no wonder that technology is taking over the safety of our vehicles in order to make our cars safer than ever.
These drive-safe technologies being implemented in our vehicles are helping to combat some of the most dangerous driving mistakes, like distracted driving. Hands free technology, collision mitigation, teen driving technology, car/ phone relationships, and future advancements are all making our cars safer.
The technology in newer vehicles is all equipped with hands free technology. Vehicles can use voice commands to dial the phone, choose a song, or even send a text message. By having hands-free technology available, drivers have one less distraction and are that much safer.
The technology available to us to keep our attention on the road isn’t completely free of distraction, however, with some vehicles rated poorly on the mental distraction rankings of voice-activated systems. Despite the risks with distractions while using hands-free technology, it’s a step up from the risks dominating distracted driving before – the less texting and driving the better. It’s a step in the right direction even if it does need to be perfected.
Collision mitigation is a system designed to reduce the severity of a collision by using sensor technology to detect a crash and provide a warning to the driver or take action for the driver to avoid an accident.
In March of 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced an agreement under which carmakers with market share inclusive of over 99% of the U.S. auto market would include automatic emergency braking systems as a standard feature on virtually all new cars sold in the U.S. by 2022. They projected that this change would prevent an estimated 28,000 collisions and 12,000 injuries. Having technology in our vehicles that would step in and make a decision for us to avoid an accident is a huge technological advancement and has the potential to make driving so much safer.
Teen Driving Technology
Teens are notorious for their worrisome driving habits, especially after being newcomers to having a driver’s license in general. With the inexperience of driving, the stereotypical poor judgement of a teen, and a reliance on distracting technology, automakers have created teen driving technology in order to eliminate some of the risks of teen drivers.
Teen driving technology includes audio systems that are disabled until seat belts are used, alerts when driving too fast, and a data report for parents that include how far they traveled, if collision mitigation was activated, and if the vehicle’s traction control system was engaged. Parents are able to set desired driving speeds and check on their driving report cards. Teens driving well are able to show their parents with proof that they are not the statistically bad teen driver and have the ability to take driving safety seriously.
There’s an app for everything these days and our cars are no different. Generally we think of our phones as a negative in regards to driving safety. Texting and driving is an extremely dangerous activity, for instance. However, there are many smartphone apps that aid in driving safety without being a dangerous distraction.
Volvo has ideas for a keyless entry to increase security by allowing you to unlock your car with your smart phone. Apps that aid in navigation, keep track of car maintenance, and work as a dash cam all aid in vehicle safety. With the ability to sync your smartphone to your vehicle, all of these apps can be used hands-free making the risk of distraction even lower.
Along with the vehicle technology already available, there are many advancements on the horizon that will aid auto safety even further.
One of the biggest talked about innovations is the creation of the autonomous vehicle. The start of this revolution begins with collision mitigation and ends with driverless vehicles – for now. We may see biometric keyless entry using your fingerprint instead of an app on your phone.
Other advancements expected in the near future include comprehensive vehicle tracking, remote vehicle shutdown, and health monitoring. We may not be at K.I.T.T. status yet, but our vehicles are that much closer to having their own personality.
The technology making our cars safer proves that not all technology causes distractions. When used responsibly, technology can be a great asset in increasing safety. The statistics involving vehicle collisions, injuries, and deaths are alarming and it’s great that the auto industries are utilizing the technological advancements to not only focus on making driving easier, but also making it safer.
Hands-free technology, collision mitigation, teen driving technology, car/phone relationships, and the future of automotive technology are all making vehicle safety a reality.