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New technology lets cars communicate to prevent collisions

From fuel-efficiency mapping to antilock braking systems, computers already augment many features of modern vehicles. Now the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all newly manufactured vehicles make use of wireless communication technology to help prevent traffic accidents.

Constant communication between vehicles

The biggest advantage of the new crash-prevention systems is that they can identify potential threats from vehicles that the driver may not even be aware of yet. The communication systems use onboard computers and wireless networks to transmit information about each vehicle’s speed, location and direction.

By transmitting data 10 times per second, the systems are able to recognize threats in an instant, regardless of any visual obstruction that might prevent the driver from doing so on his or her own. That data is then analyzed and used to alert drivers about other vehicles, even if those vehicles are not yet within one another’s line of sight.

“Seeing” more of the road

The NTSB has noted that intersection collisions in particular may be substantially reduced by the adoption of the new technology.

Although drivers spend a relatively small amount of their drive time navigating intersections, statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration show that roughly four out of ten crashes occur at intersections. The NHTSA reports that more than 7,000 fatalities resulted from intersection accidents in 2008, with another 733,000 intersection crashes causing serious injury to at least one person.

Increased visual stimulus and obstructions, as well as multi-directional traffic and greatly varied vehicle speeds, all add complexity and increase the risk of accidents at intersections. Because situational awareness is essential to the prevention of accidents, the new crash prevention systems are expected to be most effective at reducing accidents caused by the kind information overload of visual obstructions seen at intersections.

Illinois car accident liability

When people are injured in traffic accidents, their own lives and those of their loved ones may be forever changed. Not only can a serious injury cause long-term pain and disability, but it may also interfere with an injured person’s ability to earn a living and participate in other day-to-day activities.

In many cases, people who are hurt in traffic accidents in Illinois are able to obtain monetary compensation to help them cope with the financial consequences of the crash. Depending on the circumstances, injured parties may be able to receive compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other losses related to their injuries.


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