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NTSB recommends new tech to help prevent car accidents

There were nearly 87,000 people killed in car accidents at intersections between 2002 to 2011, according to a report. This fact, along with two fatal accidents last year at intersections, involving commercial vehicles and school buses prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend that standards be set for technology that allows automatic communication between vehicles on the road, and that this technology be required in all new vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been studying the use of this technology in one city since last year and hopes to proceed to making safety standards for this technology by the end of the year. The technology allows cars to send speed and directional information to other cars within 1,000 feet of each other ten times every second. This exchange of data between vehicles can then warn drivers if another driver is driving at a dangerous speed, or is about to run through a stop light. This technology could potentially communicate with infrastructure, as well.

The aim of this technology is to reduce the number of avoidable accidents and lower deaths and injuries. Even if a person isn't able to completely stop after a warning of a hazard approaching, they might be able to slow the vehicle and avoid serious injury.

The two accidents that prompted the government agencies to look into this technology involved intersection accidents, which may have been prevented with this technology.

While technology continues to develop, there will still be many more traffic accidents and deaths. Until technology can prevent all or most car accidents in Lake Charles and the rest of the country, it is important that drivers remain attentive and actively avoid dangerous driving situations.

Source: Associated Press, "Technology for cars to talk to each other urged," Joan Lowy, July 23, 2013

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