Why on-board safety software may be key to reducing car crashes

Some of the most promising types of automobile safety software to be installed on vehicles in the past few years has been the lane-drifting and blind-spot warning systems. In order to reach this conclusion, researchers with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety analyzed crash data recorded during 2009 and 2015 across 25 states.

They found that sideswipe, single-vehicle, and head-on crashes all were reduced by 11 percent during these years, a time during which it was still optional to have these systems installed. They also found that when there were accidents of these types, injuries were less severe in 21 percent of them. Among the crashes they evaluated, there were only 40 fatalities. This reduction in crashes translates to at least 85,000 avoidable crashes.

Another study that was completed involved the researchers looking more closely at on-board blind-spot detection software. This system, which uses side mirror warning lights, was found to reduce lane-change accidents by as much as 14 percent. It was found to reduce car crashes of all types by at least 23 percent. They highlighted that 50,000 annual car accidents could be avoided if every car had this software.

Researchers have begun looking more closely into these types of warning systems as they strive to come up with a more efficient self-driving vehicle. They note, however, that there are many takeaways that could be applied to help motorists avoid crashes now.

Despite the promise they offer for reducing accidents, they note that convincing drivers of the importance of using this technology is an uphill battle. That's because, as researchers found out during their analysis, at least half of all drivers with these systems on-board cut them off while driving.

They note that, in speaking with motorists who do this, they found that the buzzing or beeping noise that they make was distracting to them. This is why auto manufacturers are busy at work trying to create a more subtle, vibrating option instead.

If you've been seriously injured by someone who wasn't taking necessary precautions to avoid a crash, then a Vista, California, car accident attorney can advise you of options for recovering damages in your case.

Source: NBC 4 Los Angeles, "Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes: Studies," Jean Lowy, Aug. 23, 2017

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