It is an exciting time for new car buyers. Among the many flashy entertainment systems are important new safety technologies. The roads of Florida are made safer for everyone when car buyers accompany safety features with good driving practices.
A car accident can be the result of many different causes, but it almost always has to do with driver negligence and error. When another driver fails to use reasonable care in operating a vehicle, no matter how many safety features it has, that motorist can be held liable for the resulting damages.
An experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney will help identify all responsible parties in order to protect injury victims’ legal rights.
The New Features
There are many new safety features available, including (but not limited to): automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic warning, rear automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane centering assist, and adaptive cruise control. Unfortunately, it takes years of data and a robust body of research in order to accurately determine the effectiveness of such features. The example of lane departure system research shows the difficulty in analyzing the available research.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently published a study which found that lane departure systems decreased the risk of single vehicle, sideswipe, and head-on collisions by eleven percent. Injury rates in these collisions were reduced by twenty-one percent with the presence of lane departure technology.
In contrast, Jalopnik reported on one study that found crashes to increase in vehicles with lane departure warning systems. This does not mean there was fault with either study. Like all statistical data, it requires a vast body of consistent results to draw accurate conclusions. Until there is a more extensive body of data, consumers are advised to carefully research and identify safety features which are best suited to their personal driving habits.
Safe Driving Habits
No amount of safety features can protect a driver as effectively as his or her own driving habits. To that end, it is important for drivers to always be aware of their surroundings. Drive defensively to avoid risks posed by other drivers. Never drive faster than is safe and prudent for your current conditions. Use particular caution in school zones, near day care facilities, and anywhere else children are likely to be present. Children tend to make unpredictable movements which drivers are not always able to easily avoid.
Never allow your attention to be diverted from the road by a smartphone or other technology. Friends and family members should speak up when a driver’s behavior is not safe. While this can be an uncomfortable discussion, it is one that can save lives. Create a calm atmosphere of discussion in which no one is accused of being a “backseat driver." Distraction is a serious problem in Florida, accounting for thousands of crashes and hundreds of deaths annually. If you're the driver, know whatever that it is can wait.
Teens, in particular, must establish safe driving habits early. Teen drivers’ inexperience makes distraction particularly hazardous to them, their passengers, and other drivers on the road. Parents should set and enforce family rules pertaining to speeding, distracted driving, passenger occupancy, and other important safety rules. For more seasoned drivers, it is never too late to re-examine driving habits and commit to safer behavior on the road. Together, drivers can make the roads of Florida safer for everyone.