Vehicle safety technology has come a long way since cars first entered the mainstream more than a century ago, but there is still more that can be done to prevent car accidents from happening and keep motorists safer when they do. The National Transportation Safety Board recently renewed its call for widespread implementation of new crash prevention technology that they say could help prevent thousands of traffic deaths and injuries each year.
In the early days of automotive transportation, cars lacked even such basic safety features as doors and windshields. Later on, headlights, windshield wipers and turn signals were introduced, and gradually the array of standard-issue safety systems grew to include relatively modern technologies such as seat belts, roll bars and airbags. The most recent round of car safety innovation has been even more advanced, often using specialized computer systems to help keep drivers and passengers safe.
Collision avoidance systems, which use computers, cameras, GPS and other modern technology to identify and mitigate crash risks, are among these more recent innovations. The systems can help prevent accidents by monitoring the road and surrounding vehicles and alerting the driver when a crash risk is imminent. In addition to issuing warnings, some crash-prevention systems can aid the driver in braking or steering if necessary to avoid a collision, and can also alert the driver to other problems such as the presence of another vehicle in the driver's blind spot or veering out of the correct lane.
Mitigating the damage done by rear-end accidents
The NTSB recommended in 2012 that crash avoidance systems should be included as a standard feature in all new passenger vehicles nationwide, and they recently issued a statement reiterating that recommendation. If every new car sold in the U.S. came equipped with a crash avoidance system as recommended by the NTSB, the agency estimates that it would result in the elimination of thousands of injuries and deaths caused by traffic accidents each year.
One of the biggest areas of potential improvement is rear-end collisions, which currently cause about 1,700 traffic fatalities and half a million non-fatal crash injuries every year in the United States. If new vehicles were universally equipped with crash avoidance systems, the NTSB predicts that 80 percent of those crashes could be eliminated or reduced in severity.
Drivers who cause accidents in Illinois due to inattention, intoxication or general carelessness are often liable to those who are injured as a result, as well as to the surviving family members of anyone who dies as a result of the crash. If you or someone in your family has been hurt in a crash that may have been linked to someone else's negligence, contact the law firm of Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, to discuss your legal options.