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How Much Can You Expect of a Car?

When it comes to your safety and the safety of your passengers, how much can you expect of a car? Although we seem to expect automakers to protect us from ourselves, there is a limit to what our vehicles can do to protect us. Yet some automakers are still working to improve driver and passenger safety.

How much can you expect of a car? -- Altizer Law PC

An examination of the changes made to vehicles during the last 70 years demonstrates many of the steps taken by carmakers and safety agencies to keep us safer in our vehicles and from the vehicles around us. Today, artificial intelligence is the key to many technologies intended to protect us or to prevent accidents.

This chart shows the top 9 causes of fatal traffic accidents in Virginia in 2017 and 2018. Take a moment to consider the causes of fatalities listed. Then think about all of the improvements, education, and devices in vehicles to help us survive many types of vehicle crashes. Finally, stop and think about how these constantly improved devices do or (based on these statistics) do not keep us safe.

Virginia auto accident stats - Altizer Law PC

Chart source:

Volvo has long been a leader in cutting-edge technologies in vehicles that make them safer for drivers and passengers, as well as other drivers. The company has announced new technology in its cars beginning in 2020.

  • Volvo vehicles will have the cameras and sensors that will notice if a driver is clearly intoxicated or erratic and allow the car to intervene if the driver does not respond to warning signals. To stop the drunk driver, the call will limit the speed, alert an assistance service or slow down and park.
  • The cars will have a speed limit of 180 kilometers-per-hour (111.85 miles per hour) on all models beginning in 2020.
  • Volvo is working on cameras that can detect lack of steering input for long periods, drivers with their eyes closed, extreme weaving across lanes, or excessively slow reaction times.
  • The company also plans to introduce the “Care Key.” This key would enable temporary speed limits for owners lending their car to a younger relative, or other drivers.

Will these technologies help us to stop drunk driving, or distracted driving, or speeding? This remains to be seen as Volvo rolls out these improvements and other automakers introduce their own safety features.

What do you think automakers could do to reduce the number of crashes and to protect the occupants inside the vehicle when crashes occur?

We would like to hear from you. Please use the comment section below. What behaviors do you believe are contributing to the causes of fatal vehicle crashes? What would you like to see a vehicle do to stop people from driving drunk or distracted or speeding?

Bettina Altizer and her experienced team of experts at Altizer Law, P.C., have been helping people recover from crashes and seek financial compensation for wrongful deaths for more than 30 years. When you need an advocate for your rights and to recover from tragedy, the team at Altizer Law, P.C., brings together their unique compassion and fierce legal representation to help you get on with life. We understand that in the aftermath of tragedy, it’s about the money.