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No one wants to get in a car accident. Even if you were not the one to cause the crash—and so will not be the one who will be held liable for the damages—the injuries you can receive from the accident can drastically impact your life. And even if you emerge unscathed from the wreck, the property damage you suffer can be a huge inconvenience.
This makes preventing a car accident is crucial. Luckily, there are numerous smart technologies that make it easier than ever to avoid one. Many of these latest developments can be added to even the oldest vehicle on the road to make it safer and reduce the odds of being involved in a car crash in Baltimore.
One of the most impressive car safety technologies to have hit the markets in the past few years have been head-up displays.
Originally used in high-tech fighter jets, head-up displays either project holograms of driving conditions, directions, and your car’s status against the inside of your windshield or display it on a screen above the dashboard. These displays are both semi-transparent, allowing the driver to see through them to the street, beyond, while still being able to read the important information on the head-up display. The goal of the head-up display is to eliminate the quick but potentially costly glances at a driver’s dashboard or GPS device by putting the information right in the driver’s view—something especially helpful for people who constantly drive in unfamiliar areas and therefore rely on their GPS device for directions. The result is a futuristic look that prevents car crashes by keeping the driver’s eyes on the road at all times.
While head-up displays are only becoming standard features in high-end vehicles, there are some that can be bought for a few hundred dollars and set up in even the oldest cars on the road.
While typically only associated with self-driving cars, vehicle-to-vehicle communications devices are another kind of smart technology that can be used to prevent car crashes in the Baltimore area.
As cars become increasingly computerized, they are coming equipped with GPS and other sensors that detect everything about a car, from its speed to its acceleration to the pressure in its tires.
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology allows the sensors in one car to interact with the sensors in another over short distance wireless internet connections. This allows vehicles to “talk” to one another, understand how they are moving, and predict road dangers that a driver has no way of sensing.
For example, if there is a four-way intersection in downtown Baltimore where tall buildings prevent a view down the cross street, and one driver has a green light, he or she will continue to drive through it without an inclination that there is another driver about to run the light. If both of the cars have vehicle-to-vehicle communication devices, the car with the green light can spot the approaching vehicle, note its speed and its inability to stop at the red light, and warn its driver about the impending danger before they can possibly be aware of it.
Unfortunately, vehicle-to-vehicle communication can only happen if all of the vehicles involved have the technology. If one of them does not, then it will be impossible for it to relay this crucial information to the other vehicles on the road, leaving them blind to its existence. However, as more cars are manufactured with vehicle-to-vehicle communication capabilities, this will become less and less of a problem.
While ubiquitous enough to no longer be considered “cutting edge,” GPS systems nevertheless are one of the most important smart technologies for car safety. By letting drivers know where they are, where they are going, and how best to get there, GPS devices eliminate the need for consulting maps and reduce driver confusion, both of which can lead to car accidents.
The Tradeoff: Driver Distraction
Unfortunately, smart car safety technology comes with a potentially serious tradeoff: a rise in distracted driving. With more devices in the car for the driver to pay attention to, less attention can be put to the road–potentially increasing the chances of a car accident if the driver is not careful.
Anyone who has a GPS system has likely experienced this firsthand. When the GPS gives vague or confusing instructions, directions that conflict with earlier ones, or delays important details like lane changes until it is nearly too late to comply, drivers can put other people on the road at risk while they struggle to comprehend what they are supposed to do and then try doing it.
Just because smart technologies in a car can distract drivers, however, does not mean that they have to. Skilled drivers are able to compartmentalize their attention in ways that maximize their own safety and the safety of others by tuning out devices that are giving them information they do not need at the moment and focus instead on how to avoid road hazards and prevent a car crash.
As smart devices become more and more commonplace, this skill will be absolutely essential. With more devices in the car providing more information, drivers will need to be able to tune out what is not necessary and keep their attention focused on what will help them prevent a car accident.
Baltimore Personal Injury Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian
Smart technologies can be a huge help in the ongoing fight to reduce the number of car accidents in Baltimore, the state of Maryland, and throughout the United States. However, those technologies need to be used effectively or else their distractions could do more bad than good.
Until there are no more car accidents, the personal injury attorneys at the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian will continue to represent victims of car wrecks in the region. Contact us online for the legal representation you need to get the compensation you deserve.