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Top 5 new safety features that prevent injuries in a car accident

Remember when seat belts and airbags began and ended car safety features? Although these core components remain critical to vehicle safety, research shows that new driver assistance technologies have the potential to dramatically reduce number of accidents and save thousands of lives.

Most new car technologies address the tragic fact that 94% of severe car accidents are caused by human error. These technologies use sensors, cameras, and radars to warn drivers of dangerous situations. In addition, automated safety features automatically take over steering, braking, and acceleration in certain conditions. In the coming years, experts anticipate that fully automated driving systems that can handle the entire driving task will become widely available to the public.

What are the most important latest safety features to look for when buying a car?

Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking

Forward Collision Warning (FCW) systems use forward sensors to monitor the distance and speed of vehicles in front of your car. If the FCW system senses an impending accident, it will warn the driver with other sounds or signals. Working in conjunction with FCW systems, the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems will automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not brake fast enough.

Jason Levine, the executive director of the nonprofit Center for Automotive Safety, considers FCW and AEB systems a critical component of vehicle safety: “When [AEB systems] work, they are among the most revolutionary combinations of safety technologies we have had in a long time.” It is hard to disagree, as studies have shown that FCW and AEB systems reduce rear-end collisions. Even when the FCW and AEB are unsuccessful in avoiding the crash, they may reduce the speed of the collision, making the collision less severe.

The Lane departure warning

The Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems alert drivers when they lose focus and inadvertently allow their vehicle to drift into another lane. Some systems causes the car to actively resist exiting the highway or assist in returning the vehicle to its correct road. The studies show that LDW systems have reduced rates of single-vehicle accidents, side wipes, and direct accidents reported to the police.

Blind Spot Monitoring Systems

Blind Spot Monitoring systems use sensors to find vehicles approaching blind spots in the car and alert drivers when so. Some systems activate the brakes or the steering controls to force the vehicle to stay in its lane and avoid a collision.

A recent study showed that blind spot monitoring systems reduce lane change accidents by 14% and injuries resulting from such accidents by 23%. The study estimates that if all vehicle in the United States in 2015 had been equipped with blind spot monitoring systems, 50,000 casualties and 16,000 injuries would have been prevented.

Rear collision prevention

Rear crash prevention systems, now required on all new vehicles in the United States, use rear-view cameras to help drivers back up safely. Rearview cameras display a more extensive, wider image than would appear in mirrors or by looking directly into the rear window. Some systems warn the driver if the vehicle is in reverse and objects are on the road. In contrast, others automatically apply the brakes to prevent the car from reversing on an object. Studies show that using rear-view cameras and parking assistance systems reduces these accidents by 42%.

Adaptive cruise control

Like regular cruise control, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) allows drivers to set their desired travel speed when driving on long highways. However, ACC uses front-mounted sensors to maintain a safe distance between the vehicle and vehicles in front of you, automatically accelerating or braking when necessary.