Automotive Accidents on the Rise
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that for the first six months of 2016, there has been an increase in automobile related fatalities. 19,100 people were killed in crashes through June 30, 2016 on US roadways, a 9% increase over the same period in 2015.
After five decades of continuous improvement, 2015 saw the first reversal, which industry experts suggest was driven by a 3.5% increase in net vehicle miles traveled in 2014.
The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS.org) is optimistic that advanced vehicle technology will help reduce fatalities in the future. According to IIHS, the following technologies will increase driver safety:
- Backup cameras are expected to significantly mitigate accidents that occur when a driver is backing up. While accidents that happen while a driver is in reverse are rare in frequency, the practice accounts for 25% of all collisions.
- IIHS is now ranking the effectiveness of headlights, noting a wide diversity of nighttime visibility performance and advocating Federal standards.
- Forward-collision avoidance systems are quickly becoming available in most trim levels. This technology detects and even intervenes when a rear-end crash is imminent.
- NHTSA Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the agency’s intention to require auto and phone manufacturers to block most internet and texting applications while vehicles are in motion.
- Electronic Stability control is available in many new cars, which helps drivers maintain control of their vehicle during extreme steering maneuvers by keeping the vehicle headed in the driver's intended direction, even when the vehicle nears or exceeds the limits of road traction.