When wrong way car accidents happen, this type of collision is disproportionately likely to be deadly or to cause serious injuries. Wrong-way collisions are especially dangerous because drivers hit head-on in most cases, which results in significantly greater velocity and a magnified crash impact.
Wrong way accidents frequently occur at high speeds as well, because they are often caused by drivers who are drunk or who enter a highway going in the wrong direction. Drowsy drivers who fall asleep and other motorists who cross center lines due to distraction or other errors also cause wrong-way accidents, as do motorists who pass when it is not safe to do so. All of these motorists may be unable to brake or slow the vehicle down to diminish the force of the crash.
Because wrong way car accidents are so dangerous, finding effective ways to prevent this type of crash could save lives and could result in many fewer serious injuries on the roads each year. Dayton Daily News recently published reports about how the development and implementation of new technology could help to reduce the chances a wrong way crash will occur.
How Technology Could Help to Reduce Wrong-Way Car Accidents
The new technology being implemented includes an in-vehicle app which would allow for communication among drivers. The communication would work via radio frequency, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set aside a channel already which will be used for this type of communication.
Drivers would be able to alert other motorists to obstacles on the road which could result in an accident, such as a driver who is traveling down the road in the wrong direction. The communication technology would also send an alert to a driver who is going the wrong way, and would notify transportation authorities of the motorist traveling in the wrong direction.
The technology is currently not deployed, but is expected to be very soon. Department of Transportation is very eager for the technology to go into effect. DOT has been working on smart car technologies including in-vehicle car-to-car communications systems for about a decade and most experts with the transportation authority believe the technology could reduce car accidents by as much as 80 percent.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is part of DOT, has already begun the process of promulgating a rule to require the vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology to be incorporated into both new light duty cars and into new trucks. This new requirement could go into effect as soon as the end of this year so cars may soon be equipped with these communication systems aimed at reducing rear-end crashes and other collisions.
While the technology will hopefully make a positive impact, drivers will still remain responsible for ensuring they are safe and careful while operating their vehicles.