With technology advancements being made to just about anything you can think of, it is no surprise that vehicles are getting smarter each and every day. From rearview cameras that beep at the driver when he/she is too close to an object to driver-assisted lane departure warnings, technology has definitely enhanced car’s safety in recent years.
Can such features (referred to as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) really help reduce automobile crashes? Let’s look at some statistics to answer that question.
According to a new study from The Boston Consulting Group, roughly 33,000 people are killed in the United States every year due to vehicle crashes. Such incidents also cause 3.9 million injuries and damage over 24 million vehicles. This study was commissioned by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and found that advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) could prevent 28% of all crashes in the U.S. This could prevent nearly 10,000 fatalities annually. Whether you are technology-savvy or not, these statistics do not lie and prove that certain ADAS technologies can indeed reduce crashes and save lives.
What are some Advanced Driver Assistance System features?
• Adaptive Cruise Control – This feature automatically adjusts your vehicle’s speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead of you. It uses forward-facing radar to detect the speed and distance of the vehicle ahead of yours.
• Traffic Sign Recognition – Technology that enables your vehicle to recognize traffic signs along the road, such as “speed limit,” “construction” or “turn ahead.” These notifications are then displayed on your car’s dashboard to help alert the driver.
• Emergency Braking – Safety feature that is intended to help drivers apply the right amount of force to their brakes during emergency stop situations. When a driver fails to apply the maximum amount of force to their brake pedal during panic situations, this feature kicks in and applies more force to the brake.
• Pedestrian Detection – Advanced sensors are used to detect human movements and brakes may be urgently applied if the driver fails to respond to the alert in a timely fashion.
• Collision Avoidance – Front-mounted radars and camera technology are utilized to scan the road ahead for potential collision hazards. If the system detects a collision risk with a vehicle or a pedestrian, it will alert the driver and may even apply the brakes for a more efficient stop.
• Lane Departure Warning – A camera is used to look ahead to tell the driver if you’re drifting out of your lane. If your turn signal is off, this system will automatically alert you.
• Cross Traffic Alert – This safety feature is designed to help you back out of spaces where you may not see approaching traffic. This is especially helpful while maneuvering in busy parking lots.
• Surround View – A vehicle camera system that provides several views: top view, rear view and panoramic view. This feature is used to assist the driver while parking, either manually or automatically.
• Park Assist – An automated parking aid which utilizes radar technology, cameras and sensors to help the driver safely park his/her vehicle. It allows the car to do most of the work itself when pulling into a parking spot or while parallel parking along the side of a road.
• Blind Spot Detection – Blind spot detection has sonar or radar sensors that look back and to the side of your vehicle. This system will alert you if cars are coming up quickly into your blind spot.
• Rear Collision Warning – Similar to front-mounted collision avoidance cameras, senors and radars, rear collision warning systems are designed to help drivers avoid being hit in the rear of their vehicles. Brakes may automatically be applied if the driver does not react quickly enough.
The vast majority of vehicle crashes in the U.S. are caused by driver error and distracted driving. It only makes sense for vehicles to adopt ADAS to help alert drivers of potential risks while driving and keep them and their vehicle safe. Many car owners are open to the idea of assistive systems to improve their safety on the road. However, currently such ADAS features come with a hefty price tag. Luckily, some forms of driver-assisted technology will likely become standard on many new cars by year 2022 thanks to an agreement among automakers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
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