Wilmington Wrong Way Crashes Could be Prevented Using This Technology
Car accidents often occur because drivers fail to share the road safely, because drivers make mistakes when guessing the behavior of other motorists, and because drivers engage in high-risk behaviors. One of the most dangerous types of car crashes which occurs is a wrong way accident. A wrong way accident happens when a driver travels in the direction of opposing traffic. This could happen when a motorist crosses a center line or gets onto a highway exit ramp instead of an on-ramp.
There are lots of reasons why drivers may be on the wrong side of the road, from confusion over street signs to fatigue or intoxication causing a motorist to lose control of the car or to drive intentionally in the wrong lane. Whatever the reason, wrong way crashes are often fatal or cause serious harm because the combined force of the two cars striking head-on can amplify the magnitude of the accident. The prevention of this type of serious collision is essential, and Dayton Daily News recently reported on the potential for technology to stop crashes and save lives.
Wrong Way Accident Prevention with New Technology Tools
Department of Transportation has long been devoted to the development of in-vehicle technologies which could help make cars safer. DOT hopes smart-cars can help to mitigate the potential risk associated with human error while operating vehicles. While there will always be the potential for mistakes to be made by drivers until full automation occurs, there are currently solutions to try to make driving less dangerous for people by reducing crash risks.
One of the smart-car features which is specifically being touted as a possible way to reduce head-on car accidents is to allow motorists to talk to each other. There is currently an app being developed which would make vehicle-to-vehicle communication possible. The app makes use of radio frequency, or RF, technology. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reserved RF bandwidth on a designated channel specifically to permit this kind of vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
The app is not deployed currently. However, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is moving forward already with the process of making a rule to require the technology in both trucks and in light duty cars starting at the end of 2016. The rule making process takes time and starting now means the requirement for in-vehicle technology should be in effect by the time the technology is ready for incorporation into cars.
The vehicle communications technology features will not only connect motorists to each other so they can share information, but will also provide information to transportation authorities about a wrong way driver so prompt action can be taken and help can be provided.
DOT estimates as many as 80 percent of accidents could be prevented with in-vehicle smart technologies like this communications system. Motorists, however, will remain responsible for making smart decisions and will need to ensure they drive with reasonable care and obey the rules of the road.