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New Year, New Car Safety Features

Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC

The year is 2020, the future is now, and while we don’t yet have flying cars, the automotive industry is rolling out and experimenting with some impressive new safety features.

Designed to prevent front accidents, side collisions, rollovers, and countless other types of vehicular disasters, assistive technology has exploded in the 2000s.

In addition to required safety measures like seatbelts, airbags, child locks, tire pressure display, electronic stability control, and back-up cameras (yes, back-up cameras have been required in new cars since 2018); a collection of new safety features is expected to prevent at least 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries by 2025.

Many of the safety features below are already available in some models, but are expected to become commonplace in 2020 and beyond:

Forward Collision Warning (FCW)

By providing drivers with audio and visual alerts, FCW systems aim to prevent front-to-rear crashes, collisions with animals, and pedestrian accidents. These warnings are frequently combined with assistive or automatic emergency braking.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

With vehicle and pedestrian detection systems, your car might be aware of hazards before you are. When this is the case, AEB systems can start braking early while you catch up or stop the car completely before a collision occurs.

Drivers with both FWC and AEB systems reported 50% fewer front-to-rear crashes and 47% of drivers surveyed by Consumer Reportssaid these systems helped them avoid an accident.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keeping Assistance (LDA)

LDW systems use cameras and other tech to track your position in your lane and alert you with sounds, images, or vibrations when you begin to drift, assuming your turn signal is not on. LDA systems tackle drowsy or distracted driving by correcting your position with steering input and brake application.

31% of drivers said LDW and LDA helped them avoid an accident.

Blind Spot Warning (BSW)

When another car is in your blind spot, BSWs give you a visual alert that it’s not safe to change lanes. These alerts are typically located on the side mirror, mirror frame, or front pillar and might come with an audible warning if your turn signal is on.

BSW helped 60% of surveyed drivers avoid a crash.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

ACC can assist you in maintaining a safe following distance. It also helps you avoid speeding by making cruise control easier to use. Instead of turning cruise control on and off or adjusting your settings in traffic, ACC systems allow your car to make the adjustments for you! Advanced systems can even bring your car to a complete stop, although less advanced systems only work at higher speeds (usually around 37 mph).

19% of drivers credited ACC with preventing an accident.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

ADAS include all the systems outlined above, as well as vehicle-specific technologies like the Tesla Autopilot system.

Industry leaders in ADAS include:

  • Acura
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Genesis
  • Lexus
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Tesla
  • Toyota
  • Volvo

And these are some consumer favorites:

  • Hyundai
  • Kia
  • Mazda
  • Nissan

Many of these brands can be found on Kelley Blue Book’s list of the Best Safety Rated Sedans of 2020.

Other Important Safety Features

To supplement more mainstream safety measures and prevent specific types of accidents, some manufacturers have added additional technology to their vehicles. For example, Kia Motors has a "Safe Exit System,” that alerts drivers to pets and children left in the back seat and prevents them from opening their door until oncoming cars have passed. Similarly, Toyota has added automatic park and automatic engine shutoff features to prevent its vehicles from rolling away.

BMW and Mercedes also offer night-vision systems that use infrared light or amplify existing lights to help you spot pedestrians and animals that wander into your path.

Combined with rearview cameras, some vehicles allow you to have a 180-degree view from the front or back of your car, and Infiniti’s Around View monitor uses computers to stitch together feeds from 4 cameras and give you a 360-degree view of your surroundings. This kind of technology could eliminate blind spots from every angle of your vehicle!

Rear cross-traffic warnings and rear automatic emergency braking can keep you out of harm’s way while parallel parking, backing-up, and/or navigating crowded parking lots.

Bluetooth has been available in vehicles since at least 1999, but newer systems allow you to control everything from your climate to your GPS using voice control. In-car Wi-Fi and “infotainment” is already being developed, so you could be having your Facebook and Twitter notifications read to you by the end of this year.

New Features Being Developed

Voice-controlled automobiles aren’t the only thing you could be seeing in the near future.

The following advances in vehicle safety are currently underway:

  • External airbags (to protect your vehicle)
  • Transparent pillars (to increase visibility and eliminate blind spots)
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (your car may be able to alert you when someone else is about to run a red light)
  • Fully automated vehicles

While it is an exciting time to be on the road, and even more exciting time to be in the market for a new car, auto accidents still occur every day.

If you’ve been injured in a car crash or truck accident, please contact Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLCtoday.

Our dedicated and experienced legal team can help you recover valuable compensation when someone else’s negligence causes your collision.

Discuss your case with us today at (918) 347-6456 – and don’t forget to schedule a free consultation.

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