Feds Test Safety in Communicating Cars — Potential for Safety in St. Louis, Missouri?
Posted on August 23rd, 2012 by Zane Cagle
In Ann Arbor, MI, tests will be run to see if collisions can be reduced by having cars communicate with each other wirelessly. These cars could warn the driver that traffic is stopped ahead, that a driver is about the blow through a red light, or other dangerous conditions that will allow the driver to prevent a crash before it occurs. 2,800 cars will be equipped with wi-fi equipment and the government will study their effectiveness. If they reduce collisions, these devices could soon become a mandatory safety feature.
Last year, more than 32,000 people died in on the car crashes, and thousands more were injured in by them the United States. According to Ray LaHood, United States Secretary of Transportation, 80% of accidents not involving drugs or alcohol could be prevented by having cars communicate with one another. These devices could also be used to reduce congestion and make traffic flow more efficiently. This has the added benefit of saving Americans money; it is estimated that traffic congestion in our largest metropolitan areas costs the United States more than $101 billion nationwide, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Collisions are also far more likely to occur in congestion, so not only would reducing congestion save America time and money, it would also serve to make us safer.
For the past 50 years or so, fatalities per 100 miles driven has consistently dropped, even as the number of drivers has increased according to the US. Department of Transportation. This is due to safety features implemented by auto manufacturers (often at the government’s behest). Things like seatbelts helped keep vehicle occupants from getting thrown from the vehicle, airbags helped reduce violent collisions between the body and steel or plastic within the car, anti-lock brakes helped stop the vehicle sooner, and stability control helped the driver maintain control over the vehicle in emergency situations. These wireless devices have the potential to be another advance in safety on par with those listed. Obviously, more testing is needed, but the potential they offer to drastically reduce traffic fatalities warrants our attention.
As a Missouri car accident attorney, I have seen too many clients injured in preventable accidents. People who are driving while texting, talking on the phone, driving while impaired, or doing any number of unsafe things behind the wheel can have a serious effect on a person’s life. If these types of accidents can be reduced, or if their severity can be blunted, then further research on this technology is welcomed. Not only may society save time and money, but lives may be improved with increased safety.
At The Cagle Law Firm, we support initiatives that will help keep people safe. Unfortunately, however, car crashes still happen and people still get injured. If you’ve been hurt by a negligent driver, you will want an attorney with the experience and knowledge to assist you as soon as possible. The Missouri and Illinois personal injury attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm will work tirelessly to make sure you get a fair amount for your injuries. For a free consultation, call Zane T. Cagle toll free at (314) 276-1681 today.
SOURCE: Feds, University Test Cars That Can Communicate St. Louis Post-Dispatch