Unfortunately, car accidents are not uncommon in Texas. In 2021, 4480 people were killed on Texas roadways. The good news is that cars are safer today than in the past. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average vehicle on vehicle on the road in 2012 had an estimated 56% lower fatality risk for its occupants as compared to the average vehicle on the road in 1950. Safety technology and research are only continuing to improve.
What Safety Improvements Have Been Made to Cars?
Vehicle safety development has helped increase the number of lives saved from 115 in 1960 to 27,621 in 2012. Below is a list of improvements that have been made to car safety over the decades.
• Seat Belts. The three-point seatbelt that restrains passengers across their lap and shoulder is now standard in all vehicles. The system includes a pretensioner that pulls the seatbelt tight and prevents excess slack during a crash. This simple advancement has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
• Airbags. Airbags are inflatable cushions that protect vehicle occupants from hitting the vehicle interior or objects outside the vehicle during a crash. Airbags are designed to inflate with gas in a fraction of a second the instant a crash begins. Dual-front airbags have been mandated in the United States since 1998. Many cars also include side curtain airbags. Front airbags reduce driver fatalities by 29 percent.
• Electronic stability control. Electronic stability control systems use automatic computer-controlled braking to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles. It helps to reduce spin-outs and plow-outs caused by the loss of road traction because of slipping wheels. Electronic stability control systems have been required in all new cars since September 1, 2011.
• Backup camera. Backup cameras (also called rearview video systems) show objects directly behind the car and if an object is coming into your vehicle’s path. The cameras help reduce backover crashes involving objects, pedestrians, or other cars. They have been required on all new cars since May 1, 2018.
• Blind spot detection. Blind spot detection systems use digital cameras or sensors to monitor if a vehicle is in an adjacent lane. It warns the driver when it may be unsafe to merge or change lanes. Blind spot detection is not mandated, but it is offered as standard or optional equipment on many new cars.
• Anti-Lock Brakes. Anti-lock brakes sense when a wheel is about to lock up and automatically apply the brakes to prevent skidding. This feature helps drivers maintain control over their vehicles in emergencies but does not necessarily shorten braking time. The federal government requires all vehicles made after 2012 to have four-wheel anti-lock brakes.
• Crumple Zones. Crumple zones are the rear and front bumpers designed to crumple and dissipate energy from the impact of a crash. This feature may create more property damage, but it lowers the risk of injury to the vehicle’s occupants. A crumple zone works best with a rigid occupant compartment, also known as a safety cage.
• Driver Assistance. Driver assistance refers to where a vehicle is controlled by the driver, but there are driving assistance options, such as collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. This area of vehicle safety technology is continually evolving.
What are the Safest Vehicles in 2022?
When buying a new or used car, a little research can help you find a vehicle that prioritizes safety and meets your other needs. According to safety ratings and recommendations by the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the following are 2022’s safest vehicles (listed in alphabetical order).
• 2022 Audi A4
• 2022 Audi A5
• 2022 BMW 2 Series
• 2022 BMW 3 Series
• 2022 Hyundai Elantra
• 2022 Hyundai Sonata
• 2022 Nissan Sentra
• 2022 Subaru Impreza
• 2022 Toyota Avalon
• 2022 Volkswagen Arteon
Your Fort Bend Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were in a car accident, you should reach out to a qualified Fort Bend attorney as soon as possible. Adam Capetillo is a Fort Bend County native who will evaluate your case and provide the best possible representation. As a skilled Sugar Land personal injury lawyer, Adam Capetillo can effectively guide you through the entire process from start to finish. Call Capetillo Law Firm today for a free consultation.