In the wake of increased car crash statistics, manufacturers are taking drastic action. In the last five years, automotive experts have introduced a huge array of new safety features. They are aimed at driving these accident statistics down, and making our roads safer. In some cases, it’s working incredibly well. As a result of this initiative, and other changes, New York City reported its lowest crash rates this year. Of course, it’s a different story across the country. In many places, the rate of drink driving has soared, and collisions are increasing.
We decided to go behind the scenes and find out what steps manufacturers are taking. The first thing to note is that every car goes through rigorous independent safety tests. Every new car is given a rating based on a five star system that identifies the safest vehicles on the road. If you’re interested, the highest rated car is the Volvo V40 hatchback. So, what features exactly make that car, and others like it, so safe against fatal collisions? What new technology is forcing this change?
First of all, it’s a strong move towards intelligent driving. Manufacturers are fitting their cars with highly responsive sensors that detect the early signs of trouble. The leaders in the field are Mercedes. The new E Class, for example, features some of the most sophisticated car tech in existence. It will monitor and detect when the driver veers out of a particular lane marking. The car will even identify when the driver is beginning to fall asleep or feel drowsy. It will alert the driver to these problems, or take action by themselves. Cars that respond faster than we ever could are quickly becoming a reality.
The second big development is the complex features of stability control and traction control. It is these features that gifted the Volvo V40 the highest ever safety rating. These are clever bits of technology that apply tiny amounts of braking to each wheel individually. The vehicle senses when it has become unstable, and this technology rectifies it. It’s something that is huge problem in bigger vehicles like trucks and vans. In fact, stability is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. So, by applying this technology, we will drastically reduce accidents on the road.
We all know that airbags are a crucial part of road safety. They have been protecting us against heavy impacts for decades inside the car. They have slowly grown more sophisticated and been installed for passengers too. Now, however, manufacturers have gone one step further. Modern cars now come equipped with exterior airbags. They’re placed in a number of places, and serve two main functions. Firstly, they help protect any pedestrians, and soften the blow during a car collision. Secondly, they inflate underneath the car before the crash. They do this in order to help slow the vehicle down, and minimise the impact.
As you can see, we’re on the verge of some incredible technology upgrades. Safety has never been so important on the road, and the future looks bright.