Drowsy or distracted drivers pose a serious danger to other users of New Orleans’ streets. Because most personal injury motor vehicle accidents are, at least to some degree, attributable to the negligence of one or more drivers, auto manufacturers have been working for years on new technologies that will assist drivers in decision making. One of the latest of involves monitoring systems designed to help the driver remain in the correct lane.
While several auto makers have quietly introduced systems designed to assist in lane centering for a limited number of vehicles in recent years, the Ford Motor Company recently announced that it will be offering what it terms “lane-keeping technology” as an option on certain 2013 models. This system is apparently much more comprehensive than earlier systems and, under certain conditions, allows the system to take control of the steering to return the vehicle to the center of the driving lane.
It works by using a camera to monitor lane position. If the vehicle drifts towards either edge of the lane, a vibration is sent to the steering wheel. If the driver does not then correct the drift, the system takes control of the steering and returns it to the center lane. The system also monitors for signs of driver fatigue, such as weaving within the lane, and alerts the driver if it believes rest is needed.
Because the lane-keeping system relies on the ability to distinguish lane markings, the manufacturer acknowledges that the system is not flawless, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided not to recommend such technology to the public until additional research is conducted. Unfortunately, the situations where these systems are anticipated to be most likely to fail – for example, around curves, in heavy rain, or where bright sunlight is hitting the camera – also tend to be the same situations where an automobile accident would be most likely to occur.
Ultimately, while current technology may lead to safer cars under certain circumstances, it is no substitute for an alert, vigilant driver who can analyze situations as they unfold. The best way to avoid involvement in a personal injury auto accident is to make sure you are adequately rested and paying attention to the road when driving.
If you have suffered injury in a motor vehicle accident, we would be happy to help you. Please reach out to us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER with any questions.