Automatic braking on Indiana roads by 2022
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is making strides to standardize automatic braking in nearly all light passenger vehicles by 2022. This is expected to be accomplished through an agreement that was reached with many of the nation’s auto producers, but there may be some delays for implementing this technology in certain models, especially those that have manual transmissions. This technology is hailed as an important avenue for reducing accidents by an estimated 20 percent, which could result in huge financial savings at many levels.
This agreement is expected to particularly impact rear-end car accidents, which accounted for 1,705 deaths along with more than 545,000 injuries during 2012. However, a former administrator of the NHTSA has indicated that she believes this agreement is not strong enough because it is not a rule that is subject to legal enforcement. The current administrator notes that implementation of a rule could take eight years or longer, which could delay the desired safety results.
Many automated technologies are being explored today, including automated cars and automated braking. With vehicles equipped to identify obstacles and brake accordingly, drivers’ actions could be complemented in situations that create the potential for judgment errors. Alerts could also improve response times for a driver who has been temporarily distracted by conversation, roadside activity or a cellphone. Some of the challenges for manufacturers may include protecting their technologies from hacking and other forms of interference.
Personal injury claims can occur for many types of accidents, including those attributed to driver error. If automated systems fail, there could be cause for litigation against a driver or the manufacturer of the system that has failed. It is important to inspect the vehicle of an at-fault driver in an accident to determine if a manufacturing or maintenance issue could have contributed to the incident.