We all know that the majority of car accidents are caused by driver error. It is of course possible that something goes wrong with the car and the driver is unable to control it but a responsible driver makes sure that this does not happen. They check their cars regularly, pay attention to the servicing requirements and in most places in the world they are checked yearly to make sure that they are safe to be on the road.
Modern cars are much more complicated than those of our parents or grandparents generation. There are many more electrical components; the cars have many more functions than they had before. They have electric windows, multimedia systems and most importantly in the last decade in particular, many companies have installed advanced systems to help the driver to be more aware of their surroundings or to warn them of possible problems with their cars.
Engine Warning Systems
On the dashboard there are many lights that may warn of a possible issue with the car. There are engine warning lights that tell you that the car’s engine may not be running properly. The exact problem may need to be read by linking up a computer but the driver knows to get the car checked out for any potential issue. There are also tire warning lights that warn you that pressure in your tire is low. This is an essential feature as the driver knows to stop immediately to check their wheels for any problems. Previous to this, the driver may have been totally unaware of the issue and risked losing control of their car.
ABS and Traction Control
Anti-lock brakes are an important addition to a car and are generally standard. They help to make sure that the car wheels are able to turn a little even when the driver brakes hard. This makes sure that the car does not skid. Traction control is an electronic system based on sensors that make sure all wheels are turning at the same speed, preventing wheel spin. This helps the driver to maintain control whilst cornering fast or driving in icy conditions.
Collision Warning Systems
Many new cars in recent years have started installing these systems as standard and many use it as a strong part of their marketing strategy. Often insurance companies will give the owner a discount if they install them in their car. These systems warn the driver if a car or pedestrian is too close to them, or if they have veered out of their lane allowing them to take action. There are more complex systems that may even brake in the case of an emergency without the driver having to apply the brakes himself.
Not All Technology Makes Cars Safer
Multimedia systems and car phones have been proven to cause accidents as people find it difficult to ignore them when they are driving. The lack of attention due to telephone use is the leading cause of accidents worldwide, one that many companies are trying to address.
Will Driving Become Safer?
There is no question that the safety innovations in cars are helping the driver to react or control the car in the case of an emergency. However, the increase of cars on the road and the constant distractions that many people are unable to ignore from their cellphones are counteracting the positive technology. If we can find a way of educating or stopping people from becoming distracted by technology, then the technology that car manufacturers are installing in their vehicles should make driving a much safer experience.