Insights from a Chicago Injury Lawyer
Car accidents can happen at any time, but inclement weather contributes to a significant number of serious collisions. Snow, ice, rain and fog can all increase the likelihood of a crash – especially when drivers behave negligently or recklessly. If you were injured in a collision that another driver caused, then one of your first calls should be to an accident attorney.
Fortunately, car manufacturers have introduced several technologies that help keep drivers safer when bad weather arises. Examples include adaptive steering, navigation systems, adaptive headlights and bumper cameras.
Adaptive steering systems are different from fixed steering systems. In a vehicle with a fixed steering system, the ratio between the driver’s actions with the steering wheel and how much the front wheels turn does not change, whereas an adaptive steering system changes this ratio continually depending on the speed of the vehicle. Adaptive steering systems can help prevent collisions, as they optimize steering response given the conditions.
For example, when a vehicle travels at a low speed – less turns of the steering wheel are required to turn the vehicle. On the other hand, when a vehicle is traveling at higher speeds the adaptive steering system will optimize the wheel turn to react more smoothly. This technology reduces the driver’s steering load, allowing him or her to react quicker to sudden dangers, such as snowdrifts, ice patches and other hazards. This can be especially helpful when visibility is low.
Many people know how convenient navigation systems can be, but a GPS also functions as a safety feature in some instances. These devices give drivers a better understanding of their route, which can prevent them from searching for street signs and landmarks. This prevents distractions, which contribute to thousands of accidents each year.
However, navigation systems can also be distracting – especially on a mobile platform – according to Distraction.gov. Be sure to configure your GPS prior to departure, and only use a hands-free device.
Headlights have always been a critical safety feature, and adaptive technology has made them even more effective. Adaptive headlights turn with the vehicle. This technology primarily helps to increase visibility around curves, which can be especially useful in foggy and rainy conditions. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, adaptive headlights caused a 10% drop in overall accidents, which indicates adaptive headlights may help to prevent collisions.
Bumper cameras are one of the breakthrough safety technologies of this decade. They help drivers notice children, mailboxes and other hazards in the road. They are particularly effective in low visibility, and if ice is covering your rear windshield.
In fact, some studies indicate that rear-view cameras reduced vehicle blind zones by about 90% on average. By helping to eliminate blind zones, rear-view cameras can help prevent collisions, especially in cases where a driver is backing up their car.
With winter in full swing, it is critical that motorists reduce their speeds, extend following distances and drive defensively. The next time you are thinking about a new vehicle, make sure to look into its overall safety and safety features.
Despite these innovations, nobody can control the actions of other motorists. If you were the victim of another driver’s negligence in Illinois, then contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates.
Our injury attorneys have won record-setting jury verdicts, and we give each case the individual attention that it deserves. Call 800-985-1819 to schedule a free consultation.