Published on February 17th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi0
Technology Helping to Keep Drivers Off Their Phones and Focused on the Road
Cars have come a long way in the past few decades. They’ve become computerized machines that can travel at high speeds and can come equipped with a nearly endless list of high-tech features. New car technology lets you do just about everything from changing the radio station to making phone calls and sending voice messages. Some cars are so sophisticated that they can even drive themselves.
Despite all these cool, new features, however, technology within the automotive industry has been getting a bad reputation, largely due to distracted driving Every year motorists are killed by distracted drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed by distracted driving in 2016. To make matters worse, this number has only increased since. This could be why states like California, and Washington are passing laws that prevent drivers from making calls, texting, or gaming when they’re behind the wheel.
Fortunately, new high-tech safety features can keep drivers out of dangerous situations and help prevent further lives from being lost. There are a number of different ways to prevent drivers from using their personal devices when operating a motor vehicle. One simple to do so, for example, is by blocking your phone from receiving calls and messages while driving. Now, although technology is usually looked at as the root of the problem, it can also be looked at as the solution as well.
Image Source: Pixabay
There are also other methods that can be used when it comes to limiting driver distraction:
Crash Avoidance Technology
Generally speaking, when drivers are behind the wheel of a vehicle, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, which is especially true if they’re distracted. That’s because these drivers typically pay attention to everything else but the road, putting not only their lives at stake, but others as well. With that being said, distractions behind the wheel come in many forms, which include:
- Eating or drinking
- Reading messages and making phone calls
- Changing the radio station
- Putting on makeup
- Feeding the kids
- Picking up items off of the floor
While these things might seem innocent and harmless, they have serious consequences — ones that result in injury or even death.
Technology can help make the road safer by providing motorists with an assistance feature called “crash avoidance systems.” These systems are designed to let drivers know when they’re approaching obstructions such as pedestrians, vehicles, trees, fences, and animals. If for some reason, the driver can’t stop in time, the vehicle will do it for them using the automatic emergency brake system to reduce the chances of injury. Truthfully, it’s easy to get distracted when driving on the road, and if you add a fussy kid to the mix, the results can be even worse. Thankfully, crash avoidance technology can help with this problem.
Lane Departure Systems
Lane departure systems are designed to let the driver know when objects are near them when the driver begins leaving their lane. For instance, if a car is in the other lane and the driver tries to move over, the software will then signal a warning to keep the vehicle centered. As the driver, you have the power to correct your action by steering the car back into the middle of the lane.
It’s important to note, however, that the lane departure system doesn’t work in specific conditions. For example, if the owner of the vehicle is driving in the snow, the sensor might not be able to detect nearby objects. That’s because snow can block the sensors, and prevent the system from alerting the driver.
To help ensure your safety, there are things drivers must do to protect themselves when operating a motor vehicle:
- Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings. This includes being aware of pedestrians, cars, animals, construction areas, schools, and busy intersections.
- Practice good driving habits. This means limiting the number of distractions that are present in your vehicle, using turn signals when making turns, and driving at a safe speed.
- Watch out for blind spots. While lane departure systems can detect nearby objects, it’s never a bad idea to double check for cyclists and other vehicles nearby.
The Future of Technology
According to Eastern Kentucky University, the future of safety technology is here, which means as technology continues to develop, so will driver safety. Manufacturing companies, for instance, are now offering lane detection sensors and crash avoidance technology in almost all their newer models. Apps like Safety Compass, which are designed to protect construction workers, will likely move into the public sector to protect drivers and consumers as well. These systems are not only designed to prevent workplace accidents from happening, but they can also be used to prevent drivers from injuring workers on roadside construction zones.
Vehicle sensors have also been programmed to monitor the person’s driving and include features like built-in dash cameras. These cameras monitor things like traffic flow, tiredness, intoxications, and other forms of distracted driving. The system also collects information on driving habits as well. These systems aren’t designed to spy on drivers; they’re designed to help improve road safety. To maximize road safety, however, drivers need to practice safe driving habits. This will not only reduce the number of accidents on the road but save lives in the long run.