By: Matthew Tievsky
Cars are becoming more technologically advanced every year. If you are
in the market for a car, you have the option to purchase a vehicle with
recently developed technology – unavailable in the recent past –
that can prevent collisions in ways beyond a human driver's capabilities.
Here are a few examples:
Adaptive cruise control. This uses forward-looking sensors like radar and cameras to monitor the
distance to a vehicle ahead. The system will automatically slow the vehicle
down in traffic to maintain a safe following distance without the driver
having to do anything. As traffic speeds up, the vehicle accelerates to
maintain the preset speed.
Forward collision avoidance system. Using the same forward-looking sensors, these pre-crash warning systems
alert drivers with visual or auditory cues when the vehicle is getting
too close to the one in front.
Autonomous braking. If the driver doesn't respond to the warning, some systems are able
to brake automatically to prevent a collision or lessen the impact.
Adaptive headlights. This technology allows drivers to see better depending upon environmental
conditions (such as nighttime, or heavy rain), and can even aim headlights
automatically to see better around bends in the road.
Backup camera. This camera, mounted in the rear of the car, transmits an image to the
driver, giving full visibility to what is behind.
- Reverse backup sensors. For use with or without a camera, this equipment
beeps if you are about to hit something while backing up.
Side-view assist. Sensors can detect a car in your blind spot and then alert you with a
light in your side mirror or with a beep if you engage your turn signal.
Parking assist. An increasing number of models offer a feature that detects the size
of a parallel parking space, guides you into the starting position, and
then allows you to completely take your hands off the wheel while the
computer backs the vehicle into place.
As these technologies become cheaper and more widely available, we expect
them increasingly to become standard features of cars – just as
a car without a seatbelt is, today, unthinkable. At the same time, however,
we must be vigilant that these new technologies function and improve safety
as well as car manufacturers claim.
If you have been injured in an automobile collision and believe that part
of the problem lays with a car's substandard safety features, you
should contact the Northern Virginia personal injury attorneys at Chaikin,
Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.