Most people believe that the roads are more dangerous ever, with distracted drivers causing car accidents at an increasingly alarming rate. The fact is, however, that there are actually fewer car accidents than ever before. In 2005, there was well over 40,000 deadly car accidents each year. By 2013, that number was only 30,057. Clearly, something has made the roads safer over the last decade.
That something is technology. Many drivers bemoan technology, citing cell phones as evidence that driving is more dangerous than ever before. Distracted driving did lead to over 3,000 fatal accidents last year, and cellphones are a major part of that. Many other technologies focus on making the road a safer place, though. If you want to become a defensive driver, investing in these devices is one of the best ways to do so.
Here are five important new technologies that have made the road a safer, kinder place:
Blind Spot Assistance
Every car has a blind spot, and it’s the most dangerous place on the road. Luckily, handy blind spot sensors are now available that can beep to alert you whenever a vehicle or object enters one of your blind spots and your turn signal is on. Even if your turn signal is off, a handy warning light will glow softly, alerting you that something has entered your blind spot.
Parking lot accidents aren’t especially fatal, but they can still lead to injuries and unfortunate insurance hikes. Today’s cars come equipped with handy parking assistance sensors, making it easy to know if you’re backing into another car, a grocery cart, or an errant shopper. It even helps make parallel parking a breeze, automating one of the trickiest maneuvers a vehicle can make.
A GPS can cause distracted driving if you’re fumbling with it as you’re on the road, but using it can actually make you a much safer driver. Here are some of the ways a GPS encourages safety:
- Keeps you from getting lost. If you don’t know where you are or where you’re going, it’s much easier to get distracted as you stare at street signs and try to figure out where to go.
- Makes driving at night easier. Night driving is difficult as it is, but a GPS gives you better visibility. You’ll know where street signs, exit ramps, and parking lot entrances are, even if it’s not easy to see.
- Puts you in the correct lane. One of the most dangerous situations to be in is having to cut across a lane or two to make your turn or exit. A GPS lets you prepare for turns well in advance, ensuring that you’re always aware which lane you should be in.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Cruise control is a convenient way to automate driving, but it’s not especially safe. If you’re not controlling the speed of your vehicle, it’s easy to get into an accident. Adaptive cruise control, however, is a much safer alternative. As your vehicle moves along the road, sensors in your front and rear bumper will alert the system about nearby vehicles, obstacles, and pedestrians. It uses this information to automatically adjust your speed, ensuring that you’re always moving the proper speed for your surroundings.
Bluetooth technology removes the distraction from most of your favorite technologies. It allows you to listen to music, talk on the phone, or even give your GPS instructions without ever lifting a finger. If you absolutely must use technology while you drive, then investing in Bluetooth is a must.
Using Technology to Improve Yourself
One of the best ways to improve yourself as a drive is by enrolling in a defensive driving course. It helps teach you how to avoid common accidents and put yourself in the best situation on the road at all times. Luckily, today’s technology allows you to take these state-approved classes online, making you a better driver without the hassle of having to change out of your pajamas.
Best of all, these classes will reduce your insurance premiums, remove license suspension points, and possibly even get traffic violations thrown out in court. If you’re serious about becoming a safe driver, taking an online defensive driving course is something you need to do today!