Innovative Technology Boosting Vehicle Safety

There are over six million car accidents every year in the US, with nearly three million drivers sustaining injuries and around two million sustaining permanent injuries from car crashes every year. Most of the top causes of vehicle accidents involve driver behavior that could be avoided – including distracted driving, speeding, DUIs, and reckless driving. Top technological developments are making driving an increasingly safer activity, with many new features aimed at curbing distracted driving, and others simply alerting drivers of factors that could pose a risk to their safety and that of others. Below are just a few recent innovations in the sector.

Adaptive Headlights

These headlights keep roads brightly illuminated while shading oncoming vehicles from bright light, thus avoiding the ‘blinding effect’ that lights can have on a dark road. They also aid the driver by increasing visibility in challenging spots – including curves and hills. They are able to do this because they turn their beams in line with the steering wheel instead of simply illuminating the zone that is straight ahead. They also move downwards and upwards depending on the car’s position. This can help avoid crashes with animals and other vehicles.

Vehicle-Based Alcohol Detection Symptoms

Drunk driving is a major obstacle to road safety in the US. As stated by legal experts, JJS Justice, alcohol has been involved in 30% of traffic deaths for the past 10 years, and around one million drivers are charged with DUIs annually. A recent study undertaken at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, has found that vehicle-based alcohol detection systems (which let drivers know if their blood alcohol limit is too high) could prevent nearly a third of the total deaths that occur every year. Top tech includes ignition interlocks which are attached to breath-testing devices. If the driver is over the limit, the car simply doesn’t start.

Run Off Road Protection

When Volvo launched its XC90, one of the most talked-about features was its run off road protection system, which addresses accidental road departure owing to drowsiness or distraction. When the car detects that the car has departed from its lane dangerously or is about to fall to a lower level, it immediately tightens seat belts as long as the car is in motion. It also contains an energy-absorbing system between the seat and seat frame cushions to cushion forces one might encounter in a crash so as to prevent spinal injuries.

Emergency Braking

There are three major technological innovations when it comes to braking. One is AEB (automatic emergency braking), which detects potential impacts when a car is traveling forward. The system gives the driver a warning, and also automatically applies the brakes to avoid the impact or lessen its gravity. Some AEB systems are capable of detecting pedestrians and objects. The second innovation involves HAEB (High-Speed Automatic Emergency Brakes), which reduce the harshness of the impact when the driver is moving at high speeds on a highway. The third involves CAEB (city automatic emergency braking), which prevents or reduces crashes when drivers are moving within a city.

A plethora of new developments are making driving a safer pursuit. Just a few of the many advances include adaptive headlights, alcohol detection systems, run off road protection, and emergency braking. There are many more to watch out for – including lane-centering assist, blind spot warning, and pedestrian detection systems.

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