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Technology Making It Safer For Teen Drivers In Bad Weather

During the upcoming winter months’ inclement weather and road hazards will be the cause of a large number of auto accidents all across the United States. For our teen drivers behind the wheel, the winter months are even more dangerous for driving then for most. Teen driver’s lack of experience behind the wheel makes them more likely to not be able to successfully navigate through dangerous weather conditions and more road hazards then usual. In fact, many states are reporting more and more moderate-high risk zones for fatal crashes due to icy roads. On average, nearly 6,000 people are killed and over 445,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year. There are many other conditions that affect teen drivers each year. From high winds to rain and sleet, bad weather driving is a serious safety risk. Luckily, technological advances are making driving during these conditions a bit easier.

The Growth of Safety Sensor Systems

Telematics and Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) have come a long way. These systems use a variety of sensors to warn of possible hazards nearby. They can also monitor themselves, intervening when they sense a driver is getting drowsy or impaired. They may alert the operator with a warning sound, and in some cases, even hit the brakes automatically. A recent study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that vehicles equipped with collision-avoidance technology had 10-14% fewer accidents.

Inter-Connectivity Promises Safer Roads for Everyone

Today's most advanced passenger vehicles combine automation with interconnectivity. "Connected cars" can now establish links among pedestrians, roadblocks, traffic conditions, and weather hazards. These links provide real-time information to drivers, alerting them when there's an active roadblock or upcoming hazard.

These cars have integrated infotainment systems that use a combination of GPS data, weather information, and other statistics to increase driver safety. More and more consumers are looking to features like these when buying a new vehicle. Car manufacturers are continually searching for ways to improve upon this technology in an effort to make roads safer for everyone. Nissan in particular has made it a goal to expand its accident-avoiding intervention technologies by the year 2020.

The Emergence of Driving Technology

Safer driving technology emerged in the trucking industry years ago. Fleet owners were looking for ways to make trucker's commutes safer and more efficient. The humble beginnings of GPS can be considered the birth of safer driving. GPS allows truckers and other drivers to find alternate routes, locate rest stops, and get to your destination safely. OnStar, which was invented in 1995, has given way to telematics – systems that monitor real-time road conditions and update drivers.

Looking to the Future: Self-Driving Cars and the Hope for a Safer Future

Of course, who can talk about technology without discussing new self-driving cars? Several manufacturers have already released features that allow cars to drive themselves in some way. Whether semi- or fully-automatic, these cars rely on computers to "see" the road around them – even better than drivers can.

A recent report by BI intelligence estimates there will be about 10 million cars with self-driving features on the road by 2020. Furthermore, a UK company is hopeful that self-driving cars will result in 2,500 fewer accidents every year. The future of driving is a bright one in which the general public will benefit from safer roads, better commutes, and possibly even a future where we don't have to drive at all. Until that day, however, we can rely on present technology to make driving in bad weather (and in general) a little safer for everyone.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury as a result of being involved in an auto accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for a free legal consultation and or case evaluation right away.

Additional resource:

Spencer Eisenmenger's picture
Attorney, Teen and Child Safety Advocate

Spencer Eisenmenger is a personal injury attorney in Kansas City, MO. Mr. Eisenmenger has extensive experience handling a wide range of injury and accident cases, including child and teenager accident and injury cases.  Spencer Eisenmenger is very passionate about contributing and participating in teen and child safety advocacy organizations and groups across the state of Missouri and entire U.S. Contact Spencer Eisenmenger for a free legal consultation.