English: A rare photograph showing the Highway 401 / Highway 402 interchange in it’s entirety in London, Ontario. Taken from the Digman Drive overpass, which was under repairs at the time this photo was taken (hence the construction pylons and signs). The overpass doesn’t have a sidewalk, so the only time I could take photos without the fear of being hit by cars was during this brief timeframe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For most of us, driving to work or school is the riskiest thing we do all day.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the nation. As a personal injury law firm, we know that, in many cases, we’re the ones to blame for them. In fact, Rae Tyson, a spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, recently told Forbes that 95 percent of crashes are caused by human error. Automakers and the U.S. government believe technology may be the answer to keeping us safer on the roads.
While Google and companies like Audi, BMW, and Volvo plan to eliminate human error by replacing us with autonomous driving software-with self-driving cars-the Department of Transportation intends to keep us in the driver’s seat while having our cars communicate crucial safety information to each other in the near future.
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology enables cars carrying it to exchange basic safety-relevant data, including speed, direction, and relative position, 10 times per second. The 360-degree situational awareness V2V provides vehicles allows them to warn drivers with beeps, flashes, or steering wheel and seat vibrations if it’s not safe to pass on a two-lane road or to make a left turn across the path of oncoming traffic. The NHTSA estimates V2V has the potential to reduce crashes by 70 to 80 percent when impaired driving is not a factor.
Today, the Department of Transportation announced its plans to initiate the process necessary to create and release a regulatory proposal that would mandate auto manufacturers to include the technology in new vehicles. While, even when such a mandate is enacted, it could take years for the country’s vehicle fleet to be even 50 percent equipped with V2V and, therefore, for the safety potential of the technology to be more fully realized, the announcement reflects a step in the right direction for our safety and that of our children.