All drivers should understand the basics of safe driving. Don’t drive while you’re distracted, tired, or intoxicated. Obey the Tennessee traffic laws. Drivers should understand how to drive when it’s raining, snowing, foggy, or too sunny.
But as cars and trucks become more technologically advanced, driver safety may rely more on technology than good ol’ fashioned driving techniques. While we believe that proper instruction and practice are the surefire way to help drivers stay safe, we think there’s something to be said for this newer safety tech. If drivers can use both to their advantage, perhaps that can reduce the number of accidents in Memphis each year.
What technology is being used to help reduce the odds of a car crash?
According to Wayfarer Insurance Group, some of the safe driving technology available as of 2021 includes:
- Automatic Emergency Braking Systems. Manufacturers are installing these systems which use sensors and software to detect fast-approaching vehicles or if someone pulls right in front of your car. If the system senses a danger (the likelihood of a collision), the system stops your car immediately or slows the vehicle down, if you don’t hit the brakes fast enough yourself.
- Backup Cameras. Cars use these cameras to back out into traffic or out of tight parking spots. The backup cameras help you see what’s directly behind you – like little kids on bikes or people in parking garages – and also have an alert system if you’re getting too close to another car or object while you’re backing out.
- Blind Spot Detection. This technology uses sensors to help drivers see through or around any blind spots they have. The technology looks for any signs that there is a car, person, or object in the driver’s blind spot, and then warns the driver of the impending danger.
- Electronic Stability Control. This technology helps stabilize your vehicle. It is useful when the roads are wet or slick due to rain or snow.
- Forward Collision Technology. This system helps stop collisions in front of your vehicle. The technology detects cars and objects in front of the driver and analyzes the risks based on the speed of the vehicle and other factors to reduce the risk of impact. This technology is akin to automatic emergency braking systems.
- Lane Departure Warning. This useful technology helps prevent your car from veering into another lane or even into oncoming traffic. Many drivers who are distracted or not paying attention may carelessly steer into other lanes. The technology warns the driver when his/her car is too close to another lane. The lane departure warning system “picks up on the paint on the roadway.”
Other types of safe-driving technology include:
- Anti-reckless teen driving technology
- Hands-free, voice-activated technology for phones
- LED headlights
- Cameras that can record in the event of a collision
What safety factors can drivers use to reduce the risk of an accident?
Since older models of cars and trucks may not have the latest tech, some drivers need to rely solely on their driver training to keep themselves as safe as possible. Rawhide Youth Services recommends the following safety tips:
- Adjust your mirrors. Many drivers don’t know how to properly adjust their mirrors, but these critical safety tools can help you avoid a collision. The mirrors on both sides of the car and the rear-view mirror should be adjusted so that you can see as much as possible on both sides, to minimize blind spots. You can find a helpful video and step-by-step instructions here.
- Wear your seat belt. Seat belts save lives every single day. Drivers should also make sure they and their passengers use proper safety restraint systems for themselves and any children in the car.
- Never, ever text and drive. Not only is it illegal, but it’s one of the most dangerous things you can do while you’re driving.
- Use your lights. Drivers should always use their lights when it’s dark or raining. Some newer cars even allow for constant use of daytime running lights.
- Don’t tailgate. Many accidents happen because drivers are too close to the car in front of them. You need enough distance to safely stop your car if the vehicle in front of you slams on its brakes.
- Regularly check your oil. Driving with low oil can damage your engine and cause your car to die while you’re on the road. It’s simple to use a towel, rag, or cloth to check the oil on your dipstick.
- If you feel your tires giving out, decelerate slowly. Coast to slow down, and try to get off the road as quickly as possible – so you can call for help.
- Test your emergency brake. Drivers should do this regularly because your hydraulic brakes may not always work, and you don’t want them to fail when you need them most.
- Have an emergency kit. These kits should include a flashlight, jumper cables, a blanket, kitty litter to gain traction in the snow or ice, a basic tool kit, reflective traffic triangles, industrial strength tape, and other aids.
- Don’t rush. Drivers should allow plenty of time for their trip so they can relax if other cars pass them or if emergencies occur.
Parents of teen drivers should model good behavior while they’re driving. Studies show that teens are more likely to text or speed when their parents do those things, so it’s important that you show your kids what proper driving behavior really is.
Who is liable if safe-driving technology fails in a Memphis car accident?
Drivers are responsible for keeping their vehicles under control at all times. The current technology is there to assist the driver. Currently, the law does not permit vehicle technology on public roads where the technology completely takes over control of the car.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our Memphis car and truck accident lawyers work with investigators, car product safety professionals, the police, and other witnesses including you to show how the accident occurred and who is responsible for the crash. We have a strong track record of settlements and verdicts worth hundreds of thousands and millions for many clients. We fight to obtain all the compensation car accident victims deserver for their pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, scarring and disfigurement, car damage, and other damages. To speak with a seasoned car and truck accident lawyer in Memphis or Jackson, call us at 901-475-7434 or use our contact form to make an appointment. We handle accident cases on a contingency fee basis.
As founder of Bailey & Greer, R. Sadler Bailey has battled his fair share of insurance giants and wrongdoers and has achieved numerous multimillion-dollar results for the victims of catastrophic injuries and their families. What’s more, he has been involved in more than 40 appellate court decisions affecting Tennessee personal injury law, including many landmark appearances before the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Read more about R. Sadler Bailey