Historically, advances in car safety technology centered on protecting the driver in the case of a crash. In the last decade or so, that perspective on car safety has slowly shifted to crash avoidance through driver-assist technologies. Newer technologies coming may even further decrease crash chances.
How does a change in philosophy make for safer cars?
The newer view of car safety is more or less a shift in philosophy. The historical trend was one of contingency, meaning if a crash occurred, you would have protection. This included:
- Safety glass
Many modern vehicle designs include “crumple zones,” which use the vehicle’s body as a cushion of sorts to protect the passenger compartment. These accident contingencies are adequate, but they haven’t decreased the number of accidents – and often, people still come away with significant injuries.
Shifting to an accident mitigation strategy offers the benefits of avoiding the crash entirely. But not everyone trusts the technology.
Trust is an issue with every new technology.
The trust factor in something such as driver assist technology will always be a massive hurdle to implementation. People want to stay in control of their vehicles. They believe they have the best chance of keeping themselves safe.
However, that thought process cannot help a person in the face of another’s recklessness or errors. The problem for every driver on the road is that you can’t control how safe other people are. This is the problem that driver-assist technologies hope to answer in the future.
Your vigilance and skill will always be necessary.
Even in a future where there are entirely automated vehicles, you will need to maintain vigilance. No matter what the future of driving looks like, you can pursue compensation if you have injuries from an accident that was not your fault.