Will Lane Departure Warning Systems in our Cars End Most Traffic Accidents?

In road-transport terminology, a lane departure warning system is a mechanism designed to warn a driver when the vehicle begins to move out of its lane (unless a turn signal is on in that direction) on freeways and roads.

Lane departure accidents, most of which are caused by driver error, can have catastrophic consequences.

Basic responsibilities of all drivers are to stay within your own driving lane or stay on your side of the road, unless you are making a turn or changing lanes after you have put on your blinker and signaled your intention.

When a driver suddenly crosses the center line or swerves out of his or her lane with no warning, catastrophic injuries may occur. People sometimes leave their lane without warnings because they fall asleep at the wheel, dial their phone, read a text, change their radio, or they may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Whatever the reason, lane departure without warning causes accidents. These accidents have dangerous consequences, like head-on collisions and rollovers which may result in serious injuries or fatalities.

Most lane departure accidents happen because of driver error. Because of the random occurrence, victims of these crashes can't do much but brace for impact. Lane departure accidents are avoidable, but it takes constant attention by drivers not to get distracted.

For this reason, several automakers are developing lane departure warning systems, which are designed to alert drivers when they veer in and out of their lanes or cross a centerline. In fact, according to U.S. News and World Report, vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology (V2V) - which allows vehicles to "[predict] imminent danger and [warn] you before a crash" - could be available within the next few years. Some automobile manufacturers are already including this technology in vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that V2V has the potential to prevent up to 80 percent of collisions. Automakers have been working to perfect V2V technology. This new ability for automobiles is common sense, but not nearly commonplace, yet.

"Conducted jointly by the University of Michigan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the pilot put nearly 3,000 V2V-equipped cars on the roads of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The technology allowed the cars to broadcast their GPS position, speed and other data to nearby vehicles. Cars then used the information to communicate with one another and avoid crashes and accidents. 'It provides consumers with what I like to call 360-degree coverage,'" said Debra Bezzina, senior project manager for the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Will this new technology give drivers a false sense of security? It's hard to say at this point, but the benefits still outweigh the problems. Having technology that prevents lane departure accidents before they occur is a positive step for automobile safety. It will save countless lives. In the mean time, we strongly recommend taking more care during your trips. Stay focused on driving - and only driving - when you're behind the wheel. It only takes a moment to drift out of your lane and the outcome can affect you and your passengers for years to come.

If you or someone who is close to you has been injured or killed in a car accident in Nebraska or Western Iowa, call Rich Hitz for a free consultation to learn about how to avoid medical bills and receive fair compensation for the injuries you or your loved ones have sustained at (402) 952-4179.

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