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Crash Avoidance Technologies That Help Drivers Avoid Accidents And Injuries

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As technology continues to advance, it is becoming easier to avoid being involved in an auto accident. Many cars are now manufactured with safety features known as "crash avoidance technologies" that help drivers avoid collisions with other vehicles and obstacles in the roadway. When buying your next car, consider choosing one that includes any of the following crash avoidance technologies to prevent unnecessary auto accidents and injuries.

Adaptive Headlights

Adaptive headlights help drivers avoid accidents because they're designed to keep the directional path of the vehicle well lit. Their horizontal beams of light automatically respond to the direction of the steering wheel and the vehicle's rate of speed. This safety feature helps drivers see better at night, especially when driving around sharp turns and other potentially hazardous nighttime conditions.

According to ABC News, adaptive headlights have lowered auto insurance claims by 10 percent and have substantially lowered the rate of injuries suffered by passengers in vehicles equipped with this safety feature. Actually, adaptive headlights have significantly reduced the number of injuries and claims in conditions that span beyond nighttime driving. Researchers originally expected this safety feature to mainly affect nighttime conditions, so they're still trying to determine why adaptive headlights are so helpful in other driving conditions as well.

Autonomous Braking

Several auto manufacturers are now offering a safety feature known as "forward collision avoidance" which lets the driver know when he is approaching upcoming vehicles in the roadway at an unsafe rate of speed. Although this type of crash avoidance technology does help lower collision and injury rates, it's particularly effective when it includes an autonomous braking feature. This feature automatically brakes on its own if the driver doesn't respond quickly enough to avoid a collision.

In most vehicle models, this autonomous braking feature reduces accident claims 14 percent lower than those equipped with forward collision avoidance systems that do not include autonomous braking. The reason for this difference is likely due to the fact that forward collision avoidance systems without autonomous braking rely on the drivers to respond to collision warnings on their own. The autonomous braking feature is more effective because it engages the brakes whether or not the driver responds in time to avoid a crash.

Lane Departure Warning System

Lane departure warning systems alert drivers when they're drifting out of their lane. So far, this safety feature has not proven nearly as effective as manufacturers had originally hoped it would be. However, future improvements to this system may prove to be much more effective at reducing injuries and collisions.

Researchers and analysts believe there are several reasons why current lane departure warning systems are unsuccessful at preventing accidents:

  • This system relies on drivers to respond to warnings, much like forward collision warning systems that do not include autonomous braking.
  • The technology involves cameras that monitor lane markings, so it's possible that the system gives off false warnings, causing drivers to ignore them.
  • Current cameras used to track lane markings may not be effective if the markings on the road are not clearly visible.
  • Data doesn't differentiate between drivers who actually use this system and those who turn their vehicle's lane departure warning systems off.
  • Drifting off the road is not extremely common, so the benefits of this safety system may not be realized, yet.

Down the road, lane departure warning systems may prove to be much more effective at reducing the number of accidents and injuries if they include a feature that forces the drifting vehicle to stay on the road. As technology improves, this safety system could become much more successful at preventing accidents and deaths. Click here for more info about hiring a lawyer if you find yourself in accident.