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We look away from the road for a few seconds to grab our coffee cup or glance at a billboard, we leave a little late for work and drive too fast, we drift off after a long haul on a monotonous road, or we freeze-up and fail to react to an erratic driver or an obstacle on the road. The sad fact is that these common errors are responsible for most of the accidents on the road, and they are all the responsibility of the driver.

But what if our cars could protect us from ourselves? That’s just what some new high-tech safety features like these are aiming to do.

Warnings
  • Lane Departure Warning – It’s easy to veer into another lane when your attention is called elsewhere as you drive. This dangerous situation will be prevented with a lane departure warning system that uses cameras to identify lane markings and warns you when you’ve drifted too close without using your turn signal or turning the wheel.
  • Following Radar – Another side-effect of not paying attention at the wheel is rear collisions. Several new cars have already been equipped with a radar that alerts you when you are driving too close to another vehicle.
  • Drowsiness Detector – Falling asleep at the wheel can happen quickly and with little to no warning during a monotonous drive on the interstate. New drowsiness detectors are cameras that keep an eye on a driver’s face and detect signs of sleepiness—like drooping eyelids or rapid blinking. Other forms of drowsiness detection perceive whether drivers are moving the wheel erratically, which is a sign of tiredness behind the wheel.
Vision Assistance
  • Blind Spot Assistance – Changing lanes is one of the most dangerous things you can do while driving on the interstate, which explains why so many mirrors and electronic auto safety gadgets have been invented to prevent you from hitting another car while you do it. Blind spot detection technology uses cameras to let you know when someone is in your no-see-zone.
  • Night Vision Assistance – It’s any driver’s worst nightmare; there they are, driving at night and, though they see nothing, they are suddenly greeted by a thud and a jostling of their car. Night vision makes drivers virtually blind in areas outside the reach of their headlights, giving them less time to react and compensate for coming obstructions. Night vision systems in cars can detect objects further down the road than our eyes can and can even detect large shapes like animals or people in dark clothing walking along the road.
All the advanced technology in the world is not an excuse for driving in an unsafe manner. As a driver, your first priority should be to acknowledge your own frailties and make sure that you compensate for them by changing the time of day that you drive, having someone else driver for you or utilizing the helpful instruments listed above.
Posted 4:09 PM  View Comments

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