Technology touches nearly every aspect of our lives, including our driving. In some ways, it makes driving more dangerous. For instance, when people drive while distracted by cell phones or other electronic devices, they can easily cause crashes. Fortunately, technology today can also help to prevent car accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that automakers are constantly developing and implementing driver assistance technologies. These features keep drivers and passengers safe. In turn, they keep other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians safe, too. To learn more, check out the USAA auto insurance group’s article on eight technology features that improve car safety.
New Car Technology for Safety
Here are a few technology options to consider if you are in the market for a vehicle for yourself or for a young driver in your home:
- Electronic stability control. ESC controls individual wheels when turns, skids and other events occur. It slows them as necessary to avoid loss of traction. The NHTSA estimates that ESC could save 5,300 to 9,600 lives and prevent 156,000 to 238,000 injuries in all types of crashes annually if all light vehicles on the road were equipped with the feature.
- Lane departure warning. An LDW system alerts the driver if the vehicle leaves the lane without a turn signal. The warning allows the driver to steer back into the lane. The alert can help to prevent crashes that often occur when a vehicle leaves the road such as sideswipes, head-on collisions and rollovers.
- Drowsiness alerts. Drowsiness detection systems available in some vehicles monitor the vehicle’s movements, steering wheel angle, lane deviation, time driven and road conditions, The New York Times explains. When movements indicate drowsiness, drivers are typically warned with a sound and the appearance of a coffee cup icon. Students, especially those with part-time jobs, are among the most likely to drive while drowsy or fatigued.
Aftermarket Technology for Car Safety
If you already have a vehicle, you should consider many types of aftermarket car safety technology such as apps that reduce driver distractions. Consumer Reports recently reviewed 10 of these apps, including:
- Do Not Disturb. The Apple iOS 11 operating system has a Do Not Disturb While Driving mode (DND) that blocks notification of incoming calls and texts when the user’s iPhone senses driving motion or is connected to a car via Bluetooth.
- DriveMode. This free AT&T app activates once a car reaches 15 mph, and blocks text alerts, which could tempt a driver to check the phone. You can set the app to send automatic replies, and parents can program the app to notify them if it is turned off. Similar apps include: Verizon Driving Mode (a feature of Verizon’s Android Smartphone messaging app), Sprint Drive First (an Android version for Sprint customers), In-Traffic Reply (the free Samsung version) and Live2Txt (an Android-based version for $1.99 that blocks and replies to texts and calls).
- CellControl DriveID. This is actually a device as well. It attaches to the windshield and works with an app to block drivers from sending or receiving text messages. It can also block e-mail and smartphone cameras and monitor driving behavior such as acceleration, braking and speed. Consumer Reports quotes a $39.95 activation fee and a monthly fee starting at $7.95. Amazon and BestBuy quote prices closer to $139 for the device. CellControl offers several products and services for preventing distracted driving.
Contact Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers Today
Even the safest and most well-equipped drivers get into accidents that other drivers cause. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston or any other area in Texas, call Tate Law Offices, P.C., or reach us online today for a free consultation.