Automated Safety Systems Have Saved Lives
Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Announce That Automated Safety Systems Have Saved Lives
A study recently released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) concluded that many lives had been saved by autonomous systems used in passenger vehicles. Although the number of vehicular fatalities has risen over the last two years, especially in Georgia, the safety features of many newer cars will likely help prevent crashes that were otherwise unavoidable. However, the IIHS warns that drivers could become complacent and adopt other unsafe behaviors when relying too much on these systems.
The IIHS claimed victory for automated vehicles based on a tiny and statistically insignificant sample size. From only 40 incidents, the IIHS argued that the fatal crash rate dropped 86 percent because of automated warning systems. Specifically, blind-spot and lane departure warnings accounted for reducing sideswipe or head-on collisions by 11 percent. The IIHS also interpreted its findings to conclude that there were 21 percent fewer serious injuries, thanks to the advanced warning systems.
The IIHS seemingly acknowledged that the sample size was small but hopes that the numbers it generated will be representative of how capable autonomous safety systems can be. A representative of the IIHS told Foxnews.com that if autonomous safety systems could reduce the number of fatal crashes by 50 percent, they would save a larger number of lives. The IIHS recognizes that 25 percent of all fatal crashes are from vehicles leaving their lane of travel. Therefore, preventing vehicles from drifting by either warning the driver or engaging a steering system to correct the position of the vehicle can save lives and prevent severe injuries.
The organization also claims that if these technologies were installed in every vehicle on the road in 2015, they would have prevented 85,000 car crashes nationally. However, some industry experts argue that fleets of vehicles take 15 years to turn over, meaning that when automated features became prevalent in 2016 vehicles, it would be about 2030 before that technology took hold and became the standard in every vehicle produced. A good example of this turn over exists in comforts we take for granted, such as air-conditioning and power windows, which were optional new cars and more expensive. Now, they are standard features. However, some industry experts project that our streets and highways will not be filled with standard, partially and fully autonomous vehicles until 2045.
Autonomous technology is expensive. The average person in America probably cannot afford a new car with all of the latest autonomous safety features. Therefore, many rely on used car sales for adequate transportation. Retrofitting safety technology is not an option because it would be too costly. For these reasons, autonomous technology will likely take some time to become the norm.
Even if implementing safety systems was easier, it would not necessarily correlate to the elimination of car crashes. Another study found that drivers who relied on safety systems to operate vehicles spend more time looking at the safety system than driving. In fact, many people surveyed in the study reported that they relied more on the warning and safety systems than their own ability to perceive and understand. This is dangerous behavior that can lead to crashes. Thus, experts encourage consumers to educate themselves on the limitations of autonomous technology and not fully rely upon it to make decisions.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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