Technological or technology developments in the automotive industry have enabled car manufacturers to build cars with tech that we would have only dreamed of a decade ago. Whether it’s in the form of electric cars and driving aids, modern vehicles come equipped with a great deal of innovation, and some of them may eventually drive themselves.
It’s easy to see why car manufacturers spend a significant amount of money on research and development to create these safety features. The fact that car crashes are among the leading causes of death around the world is a testament to why we need safer cars, but is cramming a car full of safety tech really the best option?
Most, if not all car accidents are caused by human error, which is why many car manufacturers are investing heavily into creating technologies that can assist drivers and help prevent car accidents. However, there are several problems as to why we shouldn’t completely rely on these safety features alone.
Cars are composed of thousands of parts that all work in synergy to keep safety systems functional. The more complex a system is, the more susceptible it is to failure. If a component of an active safety system fails, the feature loses its functionality, and an accident may occur.
A prime example of this are the RADAR and LiDAR arrays that are usually found in expensive cars. Features such as adaptive cruise control rely on these pieces of technology to determine whether the car needs to speed up, slow down, or come to a stop. If these complex technologies fail to function when the driver is relying on them, it can easily result in an accident.
This is only further heightened when we factor in the inherent wear and tear that all mechanicals and technologies have. While active safety features are meant to prevent accidents, they should not be an excuse for drivers to divert their attention from the road.
The vast majority of self-driving cars are tested only in perfect weather and traffic conditions (clear skies, low traffic). While this is to ensure that nothing goes wrong during these test runs, this reflects poorly on the reliability of these safety features. These measures should be treated only as driving aids that are meant to enhance awareness on the road. These safety features aren’t enough to compensate for a lack of driving skill and foresight.
Driving aids are beneficial to all drivers, particularly novice drivers. The only danger lies in relying on these aids too much. Apart from driving aids, there are many ways to make your car safer. Purchasing high-quality tires, investing in accessories and parts like those from Monaco Motorsports, and developing defensive driving habits are all ways to train yourself to drive safely.
These safety technologies are good to have, but rather than relinquish control to a computer, a better option would be to educate and train drivers. Improved and safer cars are beneficial, but what we really need for safer roads are better drivers.
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