Keeping Drivers on the Straight and Narrow
It may come as a surprise to some, but wrong-way crashes are common causes of injury and death on America’s roads. Drivers can end up in a wrong-way accident for a number of reasons, to include drunkenness or impairment, old age, bad vision, poor visibility or weather conditions, lack of signage, being lost or even on purpose. A car traveling the wrong way can do a lot of damage to incoming traffic, mainly because drivers are not expecting it. The impact of two cars moving at full speed can be deadly.
In an effort to prevent wrong-way crashes and fatalities, a German auto supplier has been developing a software program that could keep drivers from ending up in a crash if they head the wrong way. The program compares the direction of a car against a Web-based database of roads and highways. If a driver is going the wrong way, the program will alert him or her and can even stop the car. This gives any vehicles on the road going the right way time to get out of the way.
Additionally, the program built by Bosch has a way to notify oncoming cars using an “anonymized” system with cloud-based technology. This system can send alerts to drivers using electronic highway message boards, road signs and even text messages to let them know that a car ahead is going the wrong way. With this secondary response, the developers hope to eliminate the possibility that a wrong-way driver will be unresponsive to warnings in his or her own vehicle.
According to a report from the U.S. Institute of Transportation Engineers in 2014, an average of 269 wrong-way crashes each year since 2004 to 2011 were fatal, and each year, more than 359 people were killed. Although these crashes are a minimum percentage of all highway crashes, their likelihood to result in death or severe injury is much higher, often because drivers are traveling at high speeds and the collision is typically head-on.
What Does the Technology Do?
The Bosch system uses cloud-based technology to track a car’s motions. It also makes continuous comparisons between a vehicle’s movements and the direction the road is going. The developers say that the technology used is similar to GPS tracking software and can be fairly easily integrated into existing information apps or systems at low costs, providing a warning within about 10 seconds. The company plans to start producing these devices as early as next year to bring their “lifesaving” development to the general population.
Call an Attorney
At Levine Law, our Denver car accident lawyers represent drivers and passengers who have been injured in wrong-way crashes caused by another driver, as well as all other types of accidents and collisions. If you have been harmed as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact one of our lawyers to discuss your case today. You may be entitled to medical compensation and damages as a result of the accident.