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Technology to help avoid motor vehicle accidents

As many drivers in Tennessee may know, there is always a risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Accidents can happen due to a variety of circumstances beyond the purview of the driver, including poor road conditions, faulty driving by other drivers on the road and defective auto parts.

However, there are available technologies that can help motorists avoid traffic accidents, and the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, is calling for the federal government to mandate their implementation by new car manufacturers. Such technologies can use sensors that can detect when other vehicles are perilously close and force the car to slow down accordingly. Other sensors provide alerts to the driver. These technologies might improve a vehicle's reaction time to impending collisions and heighten drivers' awareness of nearby perils.

Many accidents result from rear-end collisions, vehicles that run off the-road and lane-change collisions. These accidents account for a combined 60 percent of all motor vehicle accidents, reportedly. They are also the types of accidents that would most likely to be avoided if government mandated the new technologies, according to the NTSB. Although the crash-avoidance technologies are available as optional upgrades on many cars, a mandate would instead make car manufacturers include them as standard options in each and every new vehicle.

Even if such a mandate were put into effect, there may be a reduction in auto accidents but not a complete extinction. For, traffic still relies on the harmony of several fallible factors, human judgment not the least of them. When people are seriously injured as a result of a distracted driver, poorly maintained roadways or a defective auto part, they may seek restitution for the damages they suffered in civil court through a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board, "Mandate Motor Vehicle Collision Avoidance Technologies", November 21, 2014

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