Technology contributes to road safety
Advancements in automotive technology not only result in vehicles that present the ultimate driving experience, but vehicles that help drivers avoid crashes. This is particularly important among fleets that can lose hundreds of thousands in a year due to collisions from a minor bumper bashing to major write-offs.
The next time you upgrade the vehicles in your fleet, consider choosing a vehicle that includes some of these essential safety technology features:
- Collision warnings: a sensor measures the distance between the vehicle and another, or even a stationary object, and sets off an alert if it senses a possible crash. Some collision avoidance systems come with braking assistance which automatically engages without the driver’s assistance to avoid a collision. Advancements in this technology have seen some vehicles with the ability to sense not only the vehicle immediately in front but up to two vehicles ahead.
- Automatic braking: this works in conjunction with collision avoidance but can come into effect to avoid colliding with other stationary objects or pedestrians as well. This technology is also used when reversing. Automatic braking is considered one of the most important technology features preventing collisions.
- Lane keeping assist: this technology sends out an alert for course correction when a driver drifts out of their lane. The alert is triggered by the speed of the vehicle and whether an indicator was used. Some vehicles can also apply steering torque to direct the vehicle back into the correct lane.
- Blind spot monitor: drivers are alerted in advance when a vehicle is in their blind spot and an alert sounds if you indicate to change lanes. This technology does not prevent a driver from cutting another vehicle off but rather prevents a collision with a vehicle in close proximity. Some monitors include cross-traffic warnings that warn drivers about approaching vehicles when backing out of a parking or into the road.
- Adaptive cruise control: prevents a collision by maintaining a pre-set following distance. Adaptive cruise control either alerts the driver with warnings or works by adapting speed and using automatic braking. In certain vehicles it can even be used in stop-and-go traffic. It is effective in reducing accidents as a result of fatigued driving.
- Lessening collision severity: if a collision cannot be avoided safety technology can also reduce the severity of that impact. This includes features such as side airbags or the dropping of the engine and transmission to the ground in an impact.
- Visibility: advancements in headlight technology can reduce collisions. This includes high-beam lights that automatically dim when an oncoming vehicle is sensed or switch on when poor lighting is detected. Intelligent high-beams also switch headlights and wipers on and off according to the conditions.
- Driver assistance: this technology attempts to prevent collisions that occur as a result of certain driver behaviours. This includes driver alertness to prevent driver fatigue, technology that makes driving easier by controlling things like steering and braking, autonomous driving, park assist for assistance in both parallel and reverse parking and speed alerts or limiters.
As safety technology becomes more prevalent, efficiencies will improve. “A reduction in collisions will result in less downtime, less wasted expense on repairs and better deliver of service. Additionally, the technology contributes to a work environment that gives drivers more confidence in their role,” says Hebert.
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