Many vehicles made in the past decade are equipped with sensors that detect oncoming collisions, such as backing into a wall, running into an oncoming vehicle, or striking an oncoming pedestrian. These sensors are designed to alert the driver to the obstacle or person so they can brake before the collision.

Unfortunately, this technology is largely only available in higher priced vehicles, making it inaccessible to some. With that sort of limitation, its effectiveness is diminished, since only a certain percentage of vehicles are equipped with it.

Cutting the numbers in half

Meanwhile, over 36,500 people were killed in car wrecks in 2018. This lifesaving technology clearly doesn’t have a far enough reach.

Some advocates say that automobile manufacturers should include this technology uniformly across production. According to Consumer Reports, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that if all vehicles were outfitted with sensors and automatic braking, the number of people involved in fatal accidents would be cut in half.

Sensors alone aren’t enough

The technology needs to be combined rather than just relying on sensors alone to alert drivers. A study by AAA concluded that driver alert systems don’t work consistently to protect against collisions with pedestrians, especially at night. The organization also found that some drivers rely on that technology too much, reducing their own action.

Drivers must take responsibility for their actions regardless of safety tech features. It’s still critical to remain actively focused on the road and alert to all potential dangers. In the future, the right combination of technology could close the gap on remaining accident scenarios.