Over the years, road safety has improved in several ways thanks to innovations in vehicle technology and safety laws. For example, drunk driving deaths have decreased by a third in the last 30 years. And thanks to certain technological advancements, such as rearview cameras and lane departure warnings, vehicles are largely safer than they’ve ever been.
However, there are causes for concern. The number of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. was higher in 2018 than it has been in nearly three decades. Safety advocates believe that distraction is partially to blame for the increase in these fatalities.
So, there are reasons to be hopeful about the future and reasons to be worried. At the center of all of this is the advancement of vehicle technology. Let’s explore the two sides of the future of road safety.
What will the future have in store for motorists? Advanced features could offer us a safer, healthier, and more pleasurable driving experience.
Smarter vehicles could reduce the number of road deaths. The number of annual traffic deaths has been increasing in recent years. More than 35,000 people die in wrecks every year in the U.S. Any technology that helps significantly reduce fatal crashes will be welcomed.
Vehicles could monitor our health. Ford is currently working on technology that monitors a driver’s heart through seat sensors. Similar technologies for monitoring a driver’s glucose levels could soon be included in cars.
Cars of tomorrow could create a more pleasant driving experience. From interactive windshields to better integration with mobile devices, the cars of the future could simply make the experience more fun for all of us when we’re behind the wheel.
With these evolutions in driving tech, we might all benefit in previously unimaginable ways. Perhaps the most exciting parts of the future of vehicle technology are those features which we’ve never considered.
On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons to curb our enthusiasm when it comes to future vehicle technologies.
Distraction continues to plague our roads. Not all advances in technology have made our roads safer. For example, smartphones have changed modern life in nearly unthinkable ways, but they’ve also worsened the threat of distracted driving on our roads.
We’re still smarter than our cars. Until vehicles are smarter than drivers, humans will not be able to fully hand over the wheel to automated systems. Though technology that identifies potential dangers is improving, we are still more capable of handling emergency situations.
As vehicles rely on automation, we might become worse drivers. Imagine driving a vehicle that is on autopilot until an emergency happens, at which point it’s your responsibility to take the wheel. Will you be prepared? If you spend less and less time operating your vehicle, you might not be able to react quickly enough in this situation.
These potential pitfalls are just the tip of the iceberg. Drivers surveyed by Esurance expressed concern that existing features make their drives more dangerous and distracting. In addition, hackers have already demonstrated their ability to breach self-driving vehicles.
You can see why we’re not totally optimistic about the safety of our roads in the years to come. Whatever the future holds, it’s important to remember that we still play a role as drivers and consumers.
The day when our roads see only fully autonomous vehicles is still far off. Until then, it’s up to all of us to do our part. Our choices matter. We can all put down our phones and focus on the task of driving. We can always be mindful of cyclists and pedestrians, and we can do our part to make sure our friends never drive while impaired.
For all the things we can control, there are many more we can’t. We can’t control the choices other drivers make. But we can hold them responsible for the costs we face when we’re injured by negligent drivers.
The experienced car accident attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin have represented injured crash victims for more than 40 years. We know that holding careless drivers responsible for their actions is essential if we want to make our roads safer. When you’ve been hurt in a wreck, you also face medical bills, time missed at work, vehicle repair bills and a tremendous amount of pain and suffering.
You should never pay the price for someone else’s mistakes. If you have been hurt in a car accident and you want a free consultation, we want you to call our team for a free case evaluation. Let us help you explore your legal options for maximum compensation.
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The financial burden that often comes with a serious injury can be too much for many people to bear. Unexpected medical debt, damaged personal property, and the sudden loss of income can impact the budgets of most families. The good news is that a successful injury claim could help reduce that financial strain after a serious accident. Get in touch with a Terre Haute personal injury lawyer with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin to learn more.
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