Preventing Accidents with Better Vehicle Tech
Despite all the chatter about autonomous vehicles, we’re still a long way from letting cars take the wheel. Instead, insurance companies have chosen to rely on supplemental technologies to make driving safer.
These tech tools promise to monitor drivers, identify dangerous driving practices, and even collect evidence in the case of a crash. These tools will require broader adoption, however, if they’re really going to change conditions on our streets.
The Dash Cam Revolution
Dashboard cameras, or “dash cams,” are one of the most popular forms of in-vehicle technology that seeks to change the way we drive … and they provide several different services. Duel-direction dash cams like The Owl, for example, can record collisions, take footage of police stops, and even help catch suspects in the event of a break-in.
These on-board cameras could be highly valuable courtroom tools, and lawyers appreciate the evidence they can provide in motor vehicle incident cases. They offer a way to eliminate the he-said-she-said drama: dash cam coverage can prove fault in personal injury cases as well as keep recording through any post-collision interactions.
They should make it much easier to investigate and resolve such cases and help victims collect suitable restitution and damages.
Busting Down Blind Spots
In recent years, our vehicles have gotten bigger; and bigger cars, unfortunately, come with bigger blind spots. This has led to an increase in the number of children injured or killed in back-up related accidents.
At least 50 children are run over by cars operating in reverse every week. In the hope of reducing such incidents, more cars come with standard back-up cameras and blind-spot alerts. Blind-spot technology is expected to be standard in all new cars within the next few years.
Stay In Your Lane
Another increasingly popular tool of safety technology found in new cars these days is lane-assist technology. Sensors vibrate if your car starts to drift out of its lane.
This can alert drivers who are distracted, drowsy, or even whose cars need to be realigned: Poor alignment can cause the steering wheel to pull and make your car drift across a dotted white or solid yellow line.
Given all these new tools, insurance companies are offering incentives for better driving by recognizing the installation of monitoring technology in customers’ cars. These optional devices provide feedback via instant driving reports, take note of screeching stops and uncontrolled turns, and monitor drivers’ cellphone use (since, as we all know, mobile phones contribute to distracted driving accidents).
Though some drivers undoubtedly find all this intrusive, many others welcome the increased safety, not to mention the reduced insurance costs. The most remarkable thing about in-car technology is that it’s helping drivers develop better habits.
According to research, assistive driving technology cuts fatal accidents by 86% compared to similar drivers who lack such tools. They reduce the overall number of lane-change incidents, and diminish the injuries suffered from lane-change collisons.
As for more advanced feedback technologies, insurance companies have seen reduced speeding and better vehicle control among users in just a few months. Drivers really are taking a cue from these tools.
As more manufacturers add safety tech to standard car models, we can expect safer roads … but only if we embrace these tools in preference to full automation. Self-driving cars may remove too much responsibility from drivers in what remains a highly dangerous environment, in which we should continue to help drivers by supporting responsible driving no matter what the road conditions might be.