Are Vehicle Safety Features Successfully Lowering Car Accident Rates?

Published on Sep 24, 2020 at 3:39 pm in Car Accidents.

Inside of car, showing steering wheel and touch screen dash board

In only a little more than 100 years, the automobiles we drive have undergone a serious makeover. The vehicles for sale today are often equipped with safety features that are geared towards protecting drivers and passengers in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, driver negligence still contributes to a number of auto accidents every year.

In the recent past, studies have been conducted on vehicle safety features in an effort to determine if the available technology is lowering car accident rates. The overall conclusion is, in fact, yes. In order to understand how these safety features are lowering crash rates, let’s start by taking a look at how you can determine the safety of your personal vehicle.

How Safe Is Your Car?

Whether you’ve had your car for years or you’re in the market for a new one, it’s important to understand your car’s safety features and how likely they are to reduce the risk of an accident. Information regarding those features can be located in your vehicle’s manual or online through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Ratings tool.

Questions to consider when determining the safety level of your vehicle includes the following:

  • Are your car’s safety features likely to protect you and your passenger in the event of a collision?
  • Is your car likely to harm other road users?
  • Is your vehicle equipped with ESC and Curtain airbags?

If your vehicle is equipped with features like a backup camera, lane maneuvering, and blind spot detection, it’s likely to have other safety features that are used to protect you and your passengers. Determining if your car is likely to harm others on the road starts by ensuring your car is taken care of. Even the most focused and law-abiding driver is at risk of causing an accident if their vehicle is not properly maintained.

Understanding Advanced Safety Systems

If you own a vehicle that has an advanced safety system, your car is likely to have some or all of the following features:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot detection
  • Collision warning
  • Cross-traffic alert
  • Forward and rear collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Pedestrian detection system
  • Road sign recognition

In general, advanced driver assistance systems use cameras and sensors to detect a potential collision and alert the driver.

Studies Suggest Modern Technology Reduces Crash Rates

In the past three years, a number of studies have looked at how modern technology in vehicles affects crash rates. Overall, researchers have determined that safety features do lower overall accident rates. For example, a study published in 2019 by General Motors (GM) and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), found that the following types of safety technology contributed to significantly decreasing accident percentage rates from 2013 to 2017:

  • High-intensity discharge headlights reduced nighttime animal/pedestrian/bicyclist crashes by 21%.
  • IntelliBeams reduced nighttime animal/pedestrian/bicyclist crashes by 35%.
  • Forward automatic braking with forward collision alert reduced rear-end striking crashes by 46%.
  • Forward collision alert reduced rear-end striking crashed by 21%.
  • Lane keep assist with lane departure warning reduced lane departure crashes by 20%.
  • Lane change alert with side blind zone alert reduced lane change crashes by 26%.
  • Rear vision cameras reduced backing crashes by 21%
  • Rear park assist reduced backing crashes by 38%.
  • Rear cross traffic alert with rear vision camera and rear park assist reduced backing crashes by 52%.
  • Reverse automatic braking with rear cross traffic alert, rear vision camera, and rear park assist reduced baking crashes by 81%.

The study looked at 3.7 million GM vehicles across 20 different models from that four-year period. Overall, fifteen different systems were evaluated using police report crash databases available to UMTRI from ten states. As vehicles continue to be equipped with the latest technology, companies like GM are hoping to reach their vision of a world with zero traffic collisions.

Legal Rights and Options for Crash Victims

Even as modern technology lowers crash rates in Mississippi and around the country, there’s still the chance you could be dealing with the aftermath of an accident. In the event you believe someone else’s negligence contributed to your suffering, you may be able to pursue a car accident claim to seek compensation for your losses.

The lawyers at Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC are dedicated to helping those in and around Jackson who have been wrongfully injured. If you’re ready to get started on your claim or in the event you have questions about your legal options, schedule a case review today. An attorney will review your situation, determine the best course of action for your financial future, and guide you through the legal process so you can place most of your focus on healing. Contact us today to learn more.

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