SMARTER CARS

Cars are getting smarter . . . and not just in regard to fuel economy.  Although the media attention has been grabbed by electric, hybrid, and other fuel saving vehicles, some amazing advancements have been made in car safety during the past decade.

Not Your Grandmother’s Headlights

Advanced collision warning systems have been steadily reducing the number of car accidents over the past decade. These systems use lasers, radar, and other detection methods to slow cars and avoid crashes. Lane departure warning systems let drivers know if they are drifting into another lane without the car’s turn signal being on. This is especially useful for drivers who have a tendency to snooze behind the wheel. Another advanced safety feature included in some cars is blind spot detection, a sensor that detects and warns drivers of vehicles located in the blind spot. Adaptive headlights are a remarkable improvement on standard head lamps. In dark or foggy conditions, adaptive headlights increase visibility around bends in the road by turning the headlight beams around the curves in the road ahead. Considering that over 45% of fatal accidents occur at night, this is an innovation that can really save lives.

Protection When a Crash Occurs

When accidents do occur, air bags deploy, crumple zones absorb impact, and seat belts clutch passengers and the driver to their seats. Although vehicular crashes are still the leading cause of death in the United States for those under the age of 54, fatalities in car accidents have been steadily decreasing for a number of years. But in a country where there are over 214 million licensed drivers, car accidents and injuries are inevitable. That is why it is important to know a good Houston car accident attorney.

Pedestrian Safety

The roadways are also getting safer for pedestrians.  Some new car models come with “pedestrian detector systems,” which allows the car to automatically begin braking if a person is detected in the roadway. One car maker is also designing an exterior airbag that will protect pedestrians by softening the impact of the person with the hood of the car! These systems work best when cars are traveling at speeds of less than 40 miles per hour, which is the legal speed cars travel through most residential neighborhoods. Unfortunately, even these advanced systems cannot protect people from catastrophe when cars are driven at high speeds or in a reckless manner. No matter how safe cars become, accidents will still occur and people will be injured. If you or someone you know is injured in an automobile accident, it is important that you seek counsel from a Houston car accident attorney so you can get the advice you deserve.