A recent federal study suggests that traffic deaths on U.S. highways have fallen to an all time low – at least since 1921, when the government first began keeping fatality records. Since 2005 alone, traffic fatalities have fallen over 25 percent. Road safety experts believe that the falling numbers are because of safer roads, better roadway signage and continuing crackdowns on drunk drivers. But those are certainly not the only factors.
In fact, one of the most significant factors may be improved vehicle design. While car accidents are inevitable, safer vehicles increase the likelihood of less serious injuries in the event of an accident. Thanks to ever-expanding technology, vehicles are continuing to become safer – protecting occupants against some of the most serious crashes.
A chief research officer with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) believes that technology innovation will continue to make even safer and more sophisticated cars, starting with 2013 models. “Our research shows that some of the newest forward collision avoidance systems, such as Volvo’s City Safety, are reducing collisions by as much as 20 percent to 30 percent,” he said.
Technology such as this is becoming standard in even entry-level models, thanks, in part, to federal regulations issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which continues to add such technology to the list. As of 2011, electronic stability control was required in all cars, and now auto manufacturers and safety experts speculate that rear back-up cameras will be the next requirement.
But even without government mandates the auto industry is taking it upon itself to continue to offer accident-prevention and reducing technology. Some of the most common features appearing in newer models now include forward collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping technology.
Safety advocates hope that these continuing advances in technology will help continue to reduce serious injuries and prevent fatal car accidents throughout the streets of Chicago and on the nation’s roads.