Safety technologies have progressed immensely since the advent of the automobile. As research and technology shed more light on how fatal injuries occur in car accidents, manufacturers create stronger and more accurate safety features. According to car accident attorneys at Farah & Farah many vehicle safety features can serve to prevent car accidents and protect passengers from related injuries. From the long-standing seat belt to modern innovations such as lane-keeping technologies, passenger vehicles are making large strides in the realm of safety.
The seat belt may not be new, but it remains the most important vehicle safety feature for passengers. Buckling up is a matter of life or death. In 2017, an estimated 14,955 people avoided fatal injuries by using seat belts. Despite an almost 90% use rate, thousands of people still do not wear their seat belts regularly. If everyone had buckled up every time in 2017, an additional 2,549 people would not have died in auto accidents. Wearing a seat belt keeps the passenger safely inside the vehicle and in the best possible position to withstand crash forces without serious injury.
The airbag is the second-most important car safety feature. Used in conjunction with seat belts, airbags can help prevent the most common fatal injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Airbags can cushion the human impact in a car accident, providing a soft contact point for the driver or passenger. Most modern vehicles have airbags not only in the driver and passenger seats but also installed in the sides of the vehicle. The only downside to an airbag is that its deployment could be too strong, posing a risk to child passengers.
An antilock brake system (ABS) is a car safety feature that can help prevent a vehicle from sliding or skidding out of control when a driver applies the brakes. Antilock brakes automatically apply the correct pressure when the driver slams on the brake pedal. Rather than dangerously locking the brake system up, constant pressure will trigger the ABS to reduce the vehicle’s speed without locking the brakes. The vehicle’s wheels will not lock up and prevent the driver from effectively steering with an ABS. This can help prevent serious car accidents.
Electronic Stability Control
Before electronic stability control (ESC) technology, a vehicle could easily slide or skid during a turn – resulting in many serious single-vehicle wrecks. ESC is a safety feature that uses a computer and multiple sensors to keep wheel speed, vehicle rotation, steering angle and other factors in check during turns. If the car starts to drift outside of the driver’s intended path, ESC automatically applies the brakes on different wheels to correct the drift. ESC can also reduce engine power to help keep the vehicle safely in the driver’s control. ESC systems became standard on vehicles manufactured after 2011, especially SUVs.
Accident Avoidance Systems
Newer vehicle technologies tend to focus on preventing car accidents rather than only keeping passengers safe during collisions. Since prevention is better than cure, automakers are focusing on preventing collisions from happening to begin with. The latest safety technologies include sensors and systems that can automatically detect hazards and react in the safest way possible to avoid accidents.
· Adaptive cruise control
· Automatic emergency braking
· Automatic headlights or high beams
· Backup camera
· Blind-spot warning
· City automatic emergency braking
· Forward-collision warning
· Lane-departure warning
· Lane-keeping assist
· Parking assist
· Pedestrian detection
· Rear cross-traffic alert
· Tire pressure monitors
· Traction control
These advanced safety systems have the power to reduce the number of auto accidents each year. Technologies that automatically detect hazards such as stopped vehicles or crossing pedestrians could eliminate human error and bring down the number of overall car accidents. Fully automated vehicles of the future may not need human operators at all. Driverless vehicle technologies are rapidly advancing, with several car companies already debuting prototypes. The future of car safety features looks bright.