Despite many recent technological advancements in car safety, there was a rise in the number of fatalities on the roadways in 2015 from previous years. Record numbers of people now become distracted by using electronic devices, thousands are killed by drunk drivers, and with the average American not getting enough sleep each night (an average of 6.8 hours), more drivers are drowsy behind the wheel. 40 percent of auto collisions involve the use of a cell phone, according to Automotive Fleet; drunk driving ends in 10,000 fatalities annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration However; and the National Sleep Foundation reports that 60 percent of drivers operated a vehicle while drowsy within the last year, which, depending on the level of fatigue, can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Despite all these deaths and the recent bump in fatalities last year, driving is still much safer than a few decades ago. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 45,000 fatalities in 1964 and 32,719 in 2013.
Why Has Driving Gotten Safer?
There are many reasons why driving has become more safe since the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. First of all, more people use seatbelts now, which is the single most important device in automotive safety. There is also more police enforcement of traffic laws, better road surfaces, and more road infrastructure. But one of the most important pieces of the puzzle in terms of automotive safety is technology features such as curtain airbags and more recent advancements listed below.
Smart Cruise Control
Recently, some vehicles have been outfitted with a intelligent cruise control systems that monitor the distance to the car in front and adjust the speed, and brakes, to keeps a safe distance. Some manufacturers even have a system in place to be used in stop and go traffic.
Lane Drifting Warning System
Side-mounted cameras and radar systems now monitor a car’s position on the road. When it senses drift due to the driver becoming distracted or falling asleep, it sounds a loud beep and flashes lights to get the driver’s attention back on the road.
Side-Mounted Cameras and Back Up Cameras
Cameras are also being applied to diminish blind spots on the sides of vehicles, as well as the blind spot behind a car while it is backing up. These cameras help reduce lane change accidents as well as reverse accidents, especially those that affect children and pedestrians.
Pre-Crash Protection System
Another new type of safety technology is one that can sense an impending collision and quickly takes action to reduce the injuries to the occupants. In such an instance, the car rolls up windows, changes seat position for optimal safety, and charges the brakes and airbags. It can also alert the driver to look forward if the system senses danger up ahead.
No matter how safe a car is, there will always be accidents. If you have been injured in a Kansas City car collision, contact the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm today for legal advice. You may be entitled to damages to help pay for your medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.