Volvo announced recently that it has set a goal to prevent anyone from being killed or seriously injured in any new Volvo car or SUV made after 2020. While this is a bold pledge, it is actually something that is already happening.
We have blogged in the past about safer car technologies and its effect on highway safety. There are currently nine vehicle models in United States including Volvo XC 90 that has had zero fatalities in the last four years. The other models include an Audi, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sorrento, Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Highlander and Toyota Sequoia.
To achieve this goal the Swedish automaker has kept track of how many people are killed or seriously injured while driving one of their vehicles for many years, and uses this information to try to make their cars safer.
A couple of examples of Volvo going above and beyond the ordinary for safety are its animal detection system and energy absorbing seats. Volvo is made in Switzerland where many large animals roam the roads. Volvo noted that a significant number of people were being injured or killed in Volvo’s because of hitting large animals on the road or attempting to avoid them and crashing off the road. To help prevent this, Volvo came up with a forward-facing camera that could detect and help drivers avoid a large animal on the roadway. Volvo also noticed that in incidents where one of it’s cars left the road and crashed, the energy from impact with objects off the road could result in fatal injuries; Volvo noted this as a major flaw in the design of it cars. To minimize this risk, Volvo incorporated a small metal plate at the base of the seat that would crush on impact, absorbing the force of the crash, rather than sending G Force’s through the spine of the driver.
Other features that will be included are autonomous driving features that are available in many other car makes and models. The difference is Volvo is striving to combine all of those features into a single car. These include adaptive cruise control that will allow you to maintain a safe and steady speed while assuring a safe distance from the vehicle in front of the car. A second important feature is lane assist; cameras can detect the edges of the road and oncoming lanes and alert the driver if he begins to drift off the road or into oncoming traffic. This feature alone could reduce thousands of highway crashes and fatalities because of driver fatigue, driver inattention and driving under the influence. Pedestrian detection systems can detect people on the roads, such as those crossing the street, and will slow or stop the car if the driver is not aware of the potentially fatal situation. Volvo also plans to include radar detection systems on the sides of the vehicle that alert drivers to a car approaching quickly from the side, such as another car running a stop sign in an intersection or parking lot.
While we applaud Volvo’s attempt to make cars and SUVs safer for all drivers on the road, these safety features are optional in other automobile makes and models and are only available in the most expensive and luxurious cars. This means that a vast majority of drivers will not be able to have these potentially life-saving features in cars that are more affordable, which is exactly what Volvo is trying to change.
If you were someone you love is, or has been seriously injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident call the personal injury lawyers at Roberts & Roberts. For more than 30 years our attorneys have been fighting to make Texas highways, and the cars driving them, safer. The call will cost you nothing, it can mean everything.