If you own a car, odds are you’re driving almost every day. But when millions of people are injured on U.S. highways every year, it makes you wonder whether cars are actually any safer than they were a few years ago. Fortunately, technology is working to change that. Here are a few ways technology is helping make cars safer for everyone on the road.
Phone Safety Features
Distracted driving is one of the top causes of car accidents, and cell phones are a big part of that. While the simple solution of leaving your phone out of reach or turned off entirely throughout your drive exists, sometimes it’s not possible to navigate without your phone’s help. That’s why phone companies and car manufacturers are starting to team up to develop features that ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Some of these innovations silence your phone until you reach your destination and others use voice-activated technology to keep your eyes on the road and off of your phone. Either way, these innovations are incredibly important in ensuring the safety of all drivers on the road. This is an especially great innovation for young adults learning how to drive. If there’s a feature already in the vehicle that ensures their phone is safely tucked away and can’t cause distraction, it makes your job as a driving instructor a little bit easier.
Blind Spot Alert Systems
Checking your blind spot is one of the most important things you can do while you’re on the road, but it’s also one that many people forget about. If you’ve ever tried to change lanes only to find out in the nick of time that there’s another vehicle in your blind spot, this innovation is for you. Now, instead of risking an accident, technological innovations have allowed blind spot sensors to alert drivers when there’s another vehicle in their blind spot. Some of these sensors use visual cues and others use aural cues to alert drivers to the vehicle in their blind spot. Not only can this help you stay safer on the road, but it can save you from a trip to your mechanic to fix the body damage your fender bender caused. And considering that almost $60 billion in vehicle maintenance goes unperformed annually, you might want to avoid any further work for your body shop.
Self-braking vehicles aren’t the newest pieces of technology on the automobile market, but they certainly are some of the most impressive. While self-braking systems in vehicles won’t bring your vehicle to a full stop from top speed, they do have the ability to increase power to the brakes if you’re not braking hard enough. These systems work in tandem with sensors at the front of your vehicle that alert it to whether you’re approaching an object or person in front of you a little too quickly. When that happens, your self-braking system will automatically slow your vehicle down so you can avoid hitting whatever or whoever is in front of your car. This is an excellent tool for people who don’t have great spatial awareness or a good grasp of how long the front of their car is.
Even if you’re driving one of the most reliable cars of all time, you have enough to worry about while you’re on the road. And even off of the road, there’s still car maintenance like cleaning (your car holds almost 17,000 times more bacteria than your home), checking the oil, and inflating your tires. Technology has allowed your car to do a little bit of the driving work for you, making the road a safer place for everyone on it.