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  • What are the Best Automotive Technologies of 2021?

    Every year, car manufacturers roll out new technologies within new styles. For 2021, these technologies include integrated systems to help improve driver safety and reduce crashes and injuries. Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) employ cameras, videos, sensors, and software to effectively warn and assist drivers of potential dangers or adverse driving conditions. ADAS includes some of the following technologies, both new and improved, for 2021:

    Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB): This technology can slow or stop a car quickly if it senses a potential collision. Some vehicles are also equipped with rear AEB, which will automatically apply the brakes if it senses any movement behind the vehicle, such as when backing out of a parking spot.

    Exit warning: This advanced technology uses sensors to detect approaching bicycles, motorcycles, and traffic, preventing passengers from opening a car door as riders and drivers pass. Some systems will automatically lock the door if they sense an approaching object.

    Blind-spot monitor: This video-based monitor employs a small camera on either side of the car to show traffic in adjacent lanes, helping to reduce lane-change accidents.

    360-degree camera: This camera can increase a driver’s visibility. Cameras on each side of the car provide a top-down view of a vehicle’s surroundings, particularly when parking.

    Back-up camera: Many new car models feature back-up cameras to help drivers see what is behind them. This technology can reduce accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists behind a car, as well as other vehicles that may be passing in the rear.

    Forward Collision Systems (FCS): Rear-end accidents are common, as people sometimes take their eyes off the road for a few seconds or they misjudge what the car in front of them is doing. FCS technology can measure the distance between the driver’s car and the car in front of them.

    Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA): LDW alerts drivers who are veering from their lane and LKA physically moves the car back into a lane when it detects veering.

    Teen driver technology: While still limited to one car manufacturer, this technology can notify parents of a driver’s speed, seat belt use, sound volume, and safety system alerts.

    Adaptive headlights: These headlights actively respond to changing conditions. For example, turning from a well-lit road onto a dark road will signal the headlights to provide more illumination. Adaptive headlights provide better visibility and more time for drivers to react to changing conditions.

    Stolen vehicle tracking software: Car theft is a common problem across the United States. Some vehicle manufacturers are adding a new layer of security in the form of built-in tracking technology. This technology can locate a vehicle and provide diagnostics and notifications for rescue services, among other features.

    Electronic Stability Control (ESC): This technology detects loss of traction and automatically applies the appropriate brakes to help the driver maintain stability and control over the vehicle. Some ESC systems also reduce engine power until control is regained.

    Traction Control Systems (TCS): This technology is particularly helpful on snowy or wet roads. It prevents the vehicle’s wheel from spinning out of control when accelerating or starting and can work in conjunction with ESC and AEB systems.

    Phone charging and wireless connectivity: Many new car models allow drivers to charge their phones, wirelessly connect from anywhere in the car, and operate phones using voice control and other hands-free technology. This technology can be beneficial in an accident or other situations where a driver needs to safely call for help.

    Mobile apps/Digital key: Carmakers continue to improve mobile phone apps that can perform various remote activities, such as to check the fuel level and tire pressure, lock and unlock the doors, and even start the car with digital car keys.

    Automatic steering: Some cars have technology that will take control of the steering wheel to prevent a collision or an unintended lane change, or to keep a car from going off the side of the road. Auto-steering systems often work in conjunction with auto-braking and lane-keeping assistance systems.

    Can Technology Replace Driver Caution and Focus?

    Regardless of if safety technology continues to improve, it is still up to every driver to remain cautious, focused, and careful when driving. No technology can overcome human error. Accidents can and will happen, even with the most innovative technology. When they do, contact a car accident lawyer for guidance, especially when there is an injury or death involved.

    Can ADAS Improve Driving Safety?

    Various studies suggest that ADAS improves driver safety. Research conducted by LexisNexis Risk Solutions showed a 27 percent reduction in bodily injury claims and a 19 percent reduction in property damage claims by drivers of cars with ADAS. Other recent studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) noted the following highlights:

    • Forward collision warning systems:
      • Large truck front-to-rear crashes reduced by 44 percent
      • Front-to-rear crashes reduced by 27 percent
      • Front-to-rear crashes with injuries reduced by 20 percent
      • Claim rates for injuries to people in other vehicles reduced by 17 percent
      • Claim rates for damage to other vehicles reduced by nine percent
    • Forward collision warning systems plus auto brake:
      • Front-to-rear crashes reduced by 50 percent
      • Front-to-rear crashes with injuries reduced by 56 percent
      • Large truck front-to-rear crashes reduced by 41 percent
      • Claim rates for injuries to people in other vehicles by 24 percent
      • Claim rates for damage to other vehicles reduced by 14 percent
    • Lane departure warning systems:
      • Single-vehicle, sideswipe, and head-on crashes reduced by 11 percent
      • Injuries in single-vehicle, sideswipe, and head-on crashes reduced by 21 percent
    •  Blindspot detection systems:
      • Lane-change crashes with injuries reduced by 23 percent
      • Lane-change crashes reduced by 14 percent
    • Rear automatic braking systems:
      • Backing crashes when combined with a rearview camera and parking sensors reduced by 78 percent
      • Claim rates for damage to other vehicles reduced by 28 percent
      • Claim rates for damage to the insured vehicle reduced by 10 percent
    • Rearview camera systems:
      • Backing crashes reduced by 17 percent
    • Rear cross-traffic alert systems:
      • Backing crashes reduced by 22 percent

    Who Should Get a Car with Advanced Safety Features?

    While ADAS and other technology can benefit anyone, those who drive for work or pleasure can benefit from extra protection; this includes ridesharing drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft, drivers who deliver food and grocery items, salespeople who cover a large territory by car, or anyone who drives a great deal. Insurance companies may give discounts to drivers of cars with certain safety features, so it might pay to check.

    Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC Advocate for Those Injured in All Types of Car Accidents

    Technology that helps reduce car accidents and injuries has come a long way and continues to improve each year. However, that does not mean that accidents cannot or will not happen. Driver error continues to be the primary cause of car accidents nationwide. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, contact the Virginia Beach car accident lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC. For a free consultation, contact us online or call 757-LAW-0000. Located in Virginia Beach, we represent clients throughout Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, and Eastern Shore. We also serve clients throughout the United States through our network of associated attorneys.