Fatal Traffic Accidents High In South Carolina Despite New Technology
Fatal accidents have been rising at a staggering rate in the U.S., with the death toll averaging around 40,000 per year from 2015 to 2017. So far, 2018’s numbers aren’t much better. Insurance Journal reports that from January through June, the U.S. has already seen 18,720 traffic fatalities.
Meanwhile, the automotive industry has been introducing safety technology designed to help mitigate the risks associated with human error. It’s inevitable that many new vehicles will come equipped with safety features previously unimagined. However, it’s important that South Carolina drivers understand the pros and cons of these safety features.
How emerging technology is intended to prevent accidents
According to Forbes, many new and upcoming vehicles will be equipped with the following safety features:
- Adaptive Cruise Control: This feature maintains a safe following distance between vehicles. If the leading vehicle stops or slows down, adaptive cruise control will apply the brakes.
- Automatic Emergency Braking: In more extreme stopping situations, such as a potential collision, this feature will apply the brakes automatically to prevent a crash.
- Lane Departure Warning/Lane Keep: This feature alerts drivers when they are veering out of their lane. It can be crucial in preventing lane-departure accidents on roads with multiple lanes.
- Blind Spot Detection: Drivers can’t always see other vehicles within their vicinity by looking in the side mirrors. This feature alerts drivers when another vehicle is in a blind spot.
- Rearview Cameras: Sometimes a driver’s rear-view mirror doesn’t offer a full view of dangers that could exist when backing up. This feature gives drives a full view of what is behind them.
Fatal accidents still up despite safety technology
South Carolina was recently ranked the 3rd deadliest state in the nation for fatal traffic accidents. In 2016, the state averaged 20.5 road deaths per 100,000 people. One of the leading causes was distracted driving.
In South Carolina, texting and driving is a primary offense, which means law enforcement can stop and cite drivers specifically for texting. Despite the consequences, many drivers still use handheld devices while behind the wheel.
While these safety features seem promising, they are not perfect. Modern safety technology is not intended to eliminate human error, but rather mitigate the risks. Drivers must still uphold a duty of care on South Carolina roads.
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash, an experienced Hilton Head auto accident attorney can investigate the cause and find out where negligence occurred. Contact Twenge + Twombley Law Firm today to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation.