With Accident-Preventing Technology Constantly Evolving, Will Our Roads Eventually Be Accident Free?
With fatality statistics on our roads refusing to budge, the government is developing technology that can help drivers reduce the amount of collisions that occur and keep everyone safe. Drivers often get overstressed, fatigued and distracted and their driving habits account for 90 percent of all accidents. Researchers are looking at technology to help cut down on tailgating, poor decisions navigating junctions, run-off-the-road accident…etc but the big question given this technology and where it could take us, will our roads ever be accident free?
In the year ending September 2016 there was a total of 25,160 people killed or seriously injured because of road traffic accidents, with 90% of these accidents involving human error it can be difficult to conclude a long term solution.
Accident-prevention technology has come a long way in the past ten years; there are many projects currently in development that we could potentially see on our roads in the near future. Recent estimates predict that these projects are expected to save 2,500 lives by 2030.
Now it’s not surprising that speeding is one of the top causes of road accidents. According to the ROSPA 6% of all injuries from road collisions are a result of excessive speeds being driven, it’s commonly known that higher speeds lead to more accidents; studies identified that hitting someone when driving between 30-40mph increases the risk of fatality 3.5 and 5.5 times more than if you were driving at a speed below 30mph.
Another major contributing factor in road accidents is mobile phones, they’re a huge danger to many on the road, and statistics show that drivers are four times more likely to crash their vehicle when they’re distracted by a mobile phone. Despite this staggering statistic in a recent survey carried out by the RAC, it revealed that 40% of people admitted to talking on their phone whilst in stationary traffic, amongst that number 39% checked their social media, emails and texts and a further 29% admitted they’d written a email, text or social media post.
Believe it or not another major impact on accident rates is our own emotions, a huge 66% of fatal traffic accidents were caused by aggressive driving, also known as road rage, alongside impatience and lack of awareness which is also causing accidents, in 2015 9,055 vehicles were involved in an overtaking accident.
Recent studies from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that 66.8% of all new cars sold are equipped with at least one or two driverless safety features; these can be offered as either a standard option or as an extra.
Some of the technology we can find inside cars today range from lane departure technology, parking assistance, autonomous emergency braking and the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. What does the future of this technology look like? Well in any industry there is obvious competition to be ahead in terms of technology and there are many innovations in the research and development phase that we could see on our roads in the years to come.
Now for the upcoming safety features that are making the newer vehicles well equipped for active safety; we have vehicle-to-vehicle communication directed at self driving cars understanding the GPS coordinates of one another, which will be highly dependent on the new age sensor technology which will primarily focus on the communication, the sensors also detect bicycles and pedestrians within its proximity and adjusts the cars speed accordingly.
There’s also tried and tested solution such as TCS (traction control system) which prevents wheel spin when starting off or accelerating, particularly on wet or slippery surfaces, and antilock braking system that prevents the wheels from locking whilst it’s braking by reducing the braking pressures.
One might conclude that we are forever moving forward with these systems and what they’re capable of, but only time will tell how quickly our roads really can become accident free, if at all.
Written By Nicholas Gordon