Car accidents are unfortunate, but we see them happen way too often. Some are minor, while some end up tragically, leading to the loss of thousands of lives every year. For your safety and that of other road users, you should strive to drive carefully. Read about what causes road mishaps; this awareness can help lower the chance of these accidents happening to you.
Accident prevention is a priority for car manufactures too. They continue to add several safety features to help prevent road accidents. Here are some common causes of road accidents in Australia.
What are the leading causes of car accidents?
This is the most common cause of fatal road accidents in Australia. Yes, you may have a powerful car, but if you feel like speeding, you can always go to a race track. And by speeding, I don't just mean high-speed driving; it also includes exceeding lower range speed limits.
A car travelling at 70 km/h takes 50 meters to come to a stop. What this means is, if there is any object within the 50 meters range, you will most probably hit it, and it may result in a fatal accident. Or if there is a bend ahead, you will most likely flip the car. Going over 50 km/h in a 40 km/h (wombat crossing) zone can result in fatalities.
2. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Drugs impair judgment. They affect your muscle control, reflexes, and coordination, and make you impulsive. You will be incapable of responding to situations rationally, resulting in an accident. In extreme cases, your light sensitivity is reduced. You may experience tunnel vision and blurred vision, making you more prone to causing an accident.
Driving fatigued is as dangerous as driving under the influence. The worst part about it is you may not know that you are exhausted, especially during long-distance driving. A tired driver will not react to serious situations in time, make bad decisions, and lose focus.
How do you avoid fatigue? Make regular rest stops during long-distance travel. Drink caffeinated beverages, and take a nap if you need to.
One mistake drivers make is losing concentration while driving. Distractions include using the phone, adjusting the navigation system to get the best route, or looking at the passenger while conversing. The moment you stop concentrating on the road, you become a hazard to yourself, other motorists and pedestrians. Unless the car is stationary, your focus should be on driving.
What car safety features help prevent the most common vehicular accidents?
Cars come fitted with several safety features. But the first safety feature should be you, the driver. Start by wearing your seatbelt and concentrating on the road. Then, these other features will keep you safe. The features include:
1. Brake assist
Emergency braking is crucial when trying to avoid a collision. Brake assist helps the driver apply the brake to maximum force even without pressing too hard. It is designed to avoid wheel-locking when applying maximum brake pressure.
2. Forward-collision warning (FCW)
As the name suggests, the feature helps drivers avoid forward collisions. A car with FCW has sensors placed in the front end that detect vehicles in front and warn the driver when approaching a car in their lane too fast. They do this early, so the driver has enough time to act.
3. Pedestrian detection
The pedestrian detection feature utilises the AEB (automatic emergency braking) and FCW to protect pedestrians. When the sensor picks up a pedestrian, it will notify the driver. If the driver takes too long to react, the system initiates automatic braking.
4. Blindspot warning
You ever noticed how it's sometimes hard to see the car right next to you? Imagine trying to change lanes, and you're on the highway. The blind-spot warning is located in the side mirrors and will warn you when you have a car on the opposite lane. Most systems will alert you when you indicate that you’re moving to a blind spot, or appear like you’re trying to move over.
5. Electronic stability control (ESC)
This system helps keep the car on its intended path during a turn. It works with sensors that detect wheel speed, steering angle, sideways motion, and rotation. If they notice drift from the intended path, the system helps bring the car back on course.
Vehicular accidents are avoidable, and car manufacturers have added all these cool features to help reduce accidents. Still, the highest responsibility of preventing accidents dwells on the driver. Keep updated about the latest in automotive tech; subscribe to Carpart.com.au Blog!