Using technology to avoid common crash scenarios
According to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than one-fourth of all fatal car accidents involve a side-impact crash. Also known as T-bone accidents, collisions of this type often occur when two vehicles enter an intersection at the same time. One of the new technologies uses wireless signals to monitor the movements near intersections as a vehicle approaches, and warns drivers of approaching traffic and other hazards.
The second type of anti-crash system would use similar technology to alert drivers to oncoming vehicles in order to prevent left-turn accidents. Many serious traffic accidents occur when one driver turns left into the path of an oncoming vehicle, often due to misjudging the other vehicle’s speed or distance – or failing to see it at all. Left-turn crashes are especially common in collisions between cars and motorcycles. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that more than one-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve another vehicle turning left into the motorcycle’s path.
It remains to be seen whether the federal government will move forward with mandating the technology for new vehicles. If it does, the crash-avoidance systems would most likely be mandatory for all newly manufactured cars and small trucks. The estimated additional cost per vehicle would be $329, although the NHTSA says that cost would likely decrease over time as the technology becomes more mainstream.