Maybe you’re car shopping after having your vehicle totaled in a serious crash. Perhaps your car has been repaired, but you don’t feel as safe in it as you did before the accident. If you haven’t bought a new car in a while, you’ll find a lot of new safety features that are standard on late model cars.
Some of these features are there to help prevent distracted driving crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 2,800 people lost their lives in this country to distracted driving in 2018.
Distracted driving doesn’t have to involve trying to talk or text on a phone (handheld or in-dash). Eating, drinking, talking to passengers, singing along to the radio, reaching for something and just daydreaming or worrying about a work project or family issue can cause people to take their focus off the road.
So, what are some of the technologies that warn drivers when conditions on the road have changed even when they don’t realize it or alert them when they’re doing something that’s potentially dangerous? Let’s look at a few:
Lane departure warning: This is a common safety feature that alerts drivers who begin to move out of their lane. It’s sometimes coupled with a lane keeping assist feature that automatically moves the vehicle toward the center of the lane if it starts to stray
Forward collision warning (FCW): This system alerts the driver if they’re getting to close to the vehicle in front of them. Some cars will go the extra step and automatically apply the brakes to help prevent a rear-end crash.
Driver monitoring: Some cars have sensors and cameras that can measure eye and head movements. They can detect movements that indicate that a driver may be dozing off or not keeping their eyes on the road and alert them.
While these features are all good to have, none of them can take the place of keeping your attention on the road. Even if you’re a safe driver, an unsafe one can come out of nowhere, giving you little or no time to react.
If you’ve been injured by another driver, be sure that you know what your total expenses will be before you accept any insurance settlement. If you’re not offered the compensation you need, it’s wise to talk with an experienced attorney before you sign anything.