Currently, car accidents are the number one cause of accident deaths and injuries nationwide. While increased automobile safety has led to a decline in the rate of accidents each year, numbers remain high. There are an estimated 5,500,000 car crashes annually and over 40,000 deaths. Several new technologies in the field of automobiles hold the potential to eliminate nearly all car accidents. These innovations would save tens of thousands of lives a year and completely alter the face of modern personal injury law. Here is a look at some new inventions that hold the potential to bring much needed change to the accident arena:
1. Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication—this emerging technology, known as V2V, is currently being tested by several major car manufacturers. Imagine the following scenario: you are approaching an intersection with a green light. At the same moment that you reach the intersection, another car runs the red light and barrels towards you, while you remain unaware of its impending course. Your vehicle then signals the approaching car and automatically brakes, enabling you to safely avoid the accident. This revolutionary situation will soon be possible with V2V. V2V operates entirely wirelessly. It enables a car to emit and receive information from other vehicles on vital functions such as speed, location, and direction. This information is used to keep vehicles a safe distance from one another. Researchers believe V2V has the potential to reduce crashes by 79%.
2. Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Communication—heavily related to V2V, vehicle-to-infrastructure communication or V2I allows vehicles to communicate with the environment, such as road signs and traffic signals. V2I relays important safety information like traffic and accidents ahead, allowing you to avoid hazardous conditions. Working in conjunction with V2V, V2I is expected to decrease accidents by a shocking 81%.
3. Self-guided Vehicles—once a thing of science fiction, self-guided vehicles are becoming a reality thanks to the pioneering developers over at Google and other technology companies across the world. Cars that drive themselves are already on the roadways in California and Nevada, conducting essential test drives for Google engineers. While these vehicles may still be a few years from consumer sales, most recognize that the future of automobiles belongs to these technologies. Self-guided vehicles are able to learn the roadway conditions and utilize signals to identify the location of pedestrians and encroaching vehicles. Self-guided vehicles could eliminate 95% of all accidents by taking away the element of human error, which is largely the cause of accidents nationwide.
What could these technologies mean for the field of personal injury law? Well, they would eliminate one central sub-area of the field. Car accidents represent the majority of most personal injury lawyers case load. However, they may cause an increase in another area of the law—product defects. When humans are eliminated as a cause of accidents, those accidents that do occur will likely be due to defective automobiles. The manufacturer of a vehicle that fails to alert you to an oncoming car, for instance, may be held liable for your injuries sustained in the resulting accident.
The evolution of the field of personal injury law will be a fascinating one to be a part of. Attorney John D. Giddens has represented countless accident victims for over 20 years. He has watched the personal injury field develop during this time and has also been a vital part of local law changes. For excellence of service and unmatched skill, call the Giddens Law Firm today at (601) 355-2022. The first consultation is free, always.