Life is constantly filled with change – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. No one knows that better than today’s population, who have lived through a pandemic, seen massive ups and downs in labor markets, and are now witnessing supply chain issues and rising inflation.
But no matter what happens in the broader economy, businesses and industries around the world are constantly seeking to evolve and improve. When things go right, this improvement includes safer products for consumers. A perfect example is the automobile industry. In this article, we will examine several developments in car safety features.
Technology and Law Are Constantly Evolving
All cars now contain safety features we take for granted that at one time seemed new. For example, as strange as it sounds, seatbelts were once optional when purchasing a new car, and there are still plenty of drivers who remember driving without them. Moreover, they were initially introduced as lap belts, long before the shoulder harness with which we are now familiar was introduced. Seatbelts were not required by law to be built into American cars until 1966.
Similarly, airbags, which were invented long ago, did not really become commonplace until the late 1980s or early 1990s. However, since 1998, the law has required airbags in all new cars. That is how quickly safety requirements can change. Below, we will consider some safety features that seem to be growing in popularity.
Modern Automobile Safety Features
- Backup Cameras – Backup cameras have proven to be incredibly popular and helpful. These cameras increase safety by helping drivers determine if anything is in the car’s path when driving in reverse – including both objects and people. As an added bonus, many people now do a better job staying in their parking space! Backup cameras became mandatory for new cars and other light vehicles in 2018.
- Automatic Braking Systems – Automatic Braking Systems monitor and automatically slow or stop a car upon detection of a potential collision. According to a Geico contributor, this feature is likely to become more and more common.
- Forward Collision Warning – Forward Collision Warning systems identify objects in front of a vehicle and warn the driver of a potential collision. The system can use lasers, cameras, radar, or a combination of those technologies. The system may include automatic braking, discussed above. Kelly Blue Book believes this technology will eventually be made mandatory by the government.
- Lane Keeping Systems – These systems monitor the location of the automobile in the lane and are designed to help the driver keep the car in the lane appropriately. Depending on the system, it may only give a warning, or may actually assist in moving the car.
Technology Alone Is Rarely Perfect
Society clearly benefits from the continuing push for automobile safety improvements. Using technology to assist drivers makes the roads safer for all of us. However, cars and trucks are still driven by humans, and humans will still make mistakes, even when those mistakes are limited by improved technologies. When human negligence leads to automobile accidents and injuries, the law allows injured victims to recover damages and holds wrongdoers accountable.
Call with Questions
If you have been injured in a car accident, you likely have questions about your rights. The personal injury attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are here to answer those questions. Please call us for a free consultation. We have handled car accidents and truck accidents all over Oregon. If you only have questions, that’s fine. But if you need help, our experienced personal injury attorneys can ease your burden by investigating your case, dealing with insurance companies, and standing beside you every step of the way. We have long believed that the only way to make all of society safer is by holding negligent wrongdoers responsible for their actions, one case at a time.