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Car accidents and collision avoidance technology

Many people in Massachusetts are seriously injured each year due to involvement in motor vehicle collisions. There are a number of different types of technologies available for newer cars today that can reduce the likelihood of such crashes. Often, these technologies are only available as upgrades for purchase in addition to the standard packages that come with the cars.

The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, is calling for a federal mandate on the inclusion of these features as part of the standard options packages for all new cars. Many accidents occur due to rear-end collisions, lane change crashes and vehicles running off of the road. Rear-end crashes account for 28 percent of accidents, lane change crashes account for 9 percent and running off the road accounts for 23 percent.

Available safety features may include lane departure alerts, tire pressure monitoring and speed-limiting technologies to help alert drivers and thus improve their reaction times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, found that the use of these technologies could reduce the number of accidents caused by losing control by 70 percent for SUVs and 40 percent for passenger cars.

Car accidents that are caused by distracted or unaware drivers can result in catastrophic injuries. Since the technologies to reduce the incidence of such accidents already exists, it makes sense to include them as part of the standard package for all new passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. Although the initial costs may increase, the correlative reduction of risk would be a benefit. Of course, car accidents are not entirely preventable, and when someone is seriously injured due to the actions of a negligent driver, he or she may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in order to recover their losses.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board, "Mandate Motor Vehicle Collision Avoidance Technologies", November 21, 2014

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