Technology is improving almost every product imaginable. Motor vehicles are no exception. In fact, auto safety experts say new technology in cars can reduce serious traffic accidents.

The Department of Transportation says crashes could be avoided with the use of technology enabling vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. Short-range radio systems would permit cars to exchange basic information about speed and direction. In some vehicles, systems could automatically engage the brakes to prevent an impending crash.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says this vehicle-to-vehicle communication represents the next big advancement in auto safety, comparable to the introduction of seat belts and airbags. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates the technology could cut the more than 30,000 traffic deaths that occur each year by 80 percent.

Federal safety regulators previously focused on structural improvements to motor vehicles. Now the government plans to shift its attention to technological tools to improve safety. Federal agencies are in the process of requiring automakers to equip all new cars and light trucks with V2V systems in an effort to save lives.

Using V2V technology, vehicles would warn drivers to avoid other vehicles in common types of crashes such as rear-end collisions, lane changing and intersection crashes.

Prevention of Drunk Driving

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board is in the process of looking into ways technology can be used to prevent driving while intoxicated.

The board is encouraging all 50 states to compel convicted DUI offenders to have ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. (Only 17 states currently have this requirement.) The board also wants further research into Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) technology. The technology tests a driver through touch or breath before a car can start.

This technology works through the use of special sensors. The touch-based sensor is built into the start/stop ignition button and shines an infrared light on the driver’s finger. In a half-second, the light measures the alcohol content within the individual’s tissue.

The breath-based sensor, mounted close to the steering wheel, examines molecules in the driver’s breath. It’s likely that the sensor technology is still a good 8 to 10 years away from completion.

Currently, federal agencies and automakers have both technological obstacles and a lack of public approval for such a measure. But if DADSS technology becomes standard on every automobile, it could help prevent drunk driving and save more than 7,000 lives each year.

Sources:

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

Recent Blog Post
Why Can’t I Use My Own Doctor on Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ compensation can help you recover lost wages and pay for causally related medical expenses if you are injured in a workplace accident. Knowing what to do if you suffer an injury on the job is vital to ensuring you…

surgery instruments
Workers’ Comp Settlement After Surgery

It is not unusual for an injury suffered in a job-site accident to require surgery. For most workers employed in South Carolina, the state’s workers’ compensation system should pay for surgery related to any injury suffered in a workplace accident….

3 Ways Trucking Companies Break the Law and Cause Crashes

The trucking industry forms the backbone of America’s freight transportation, with over 38.9 million vehicles moving over 72% of the nation’s freight in 2021. However, statistics compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also reveal accidents involving large…

How Long Does It Take to Get My Workers’ Comp Check?

If your workplace injury prevents you from working, discovering that your workers’ compensation claim was approved can be a huge relief. However, checks for lost wages are rarely issued immediately, often leaving injured workers struggling to pay bills after an…

Awards & Recognition
Media
CBS News
Fox
NBC
ABC