by Charles NguyenMay 4, 2012
With many drivers ignoring use of their turn signals, an automatic system could save lives
A recently released report by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) advocates a new approach to turn-signaling technology to battle the high rate of turn-signal neglect that causes millions of crashes a year, highlighting the impact that in-car automotive technologies can have on the industry, according to Online Auto Insurance.
Tech experts with SAE and RLP Engineering—which holds patents on automated turn-signaling technology—authored the report, which found that drivers ignore using their turn signal when changing lanes 48 percent of the time, while 25 percent of the time they ignore using their turn signal when turning. That rate translates to motorists neglecting signal use 2 billion times daily, according to the report.
More crashes on a driver’s record means more insurance costs, and consumers with spotty driving records will undoubtedly have a tough time when looking for cheap car insurance quotes online or through an agent. Being at fault for a crash can significantly inflate insurance rates and insurance premiums. According to the study, paying more attention to using a turn signal can help drivers avoid accidents and, consequently, higher insurance costs.
But the number of those crashes can be reduced, according to the SAE report, which promoted “Smart Turn Signal” technology patented by RLP Engineering that automatically activates and deactivates signals for each roadway situation and reminds drivers who seldom use the signal to do so more often.
According to the report, “drivers who neglect their turn signals will quickly improve their habits” because the technology’s in-car signaling cues work the same way as current seat belt reminders.
But whether or not such technology can make waves in the market is unknown. According to a J.D. Power and Associates study released last week, consumers have shown more interest in technologies that promote infotainment rather than safety.
In that study, those surveyed listed the top five technologies they would buy for their next car. Without knowing the price, respondents picked: light-emitting diode headlights, natural language voice activation, next generation head-up display, wireless connectivity system and remote vehicle diagnostics.
But less pricey technology may make safety devices more appealing. After learning the cost of such technologies, the list of respondents’ desired devices included more safety-related features: HD radio, enhanced collision mitigation system, wireless connectivity system, review-view camera, and personal assistance safety services.
The SAE report pushed the cost-effectiveness of turn signal technology, saying that it will be easy and cheap to implement because it utilizes the same data used by the electronic stability control technology now standard in all new cars.
Such stability systems trigger automatic braking and steering that aid motorists when they skid on the road. Automatic signal technology has the potential to cut into the number of roadway crashes of all kinds, according to Richard Ponziani, president of RLP Engineering.
"Smart Turn Signals are the perfect complement to the Stability Control System since stability control predominately prevents single-vehicle crashes, whereas the Smart Turn Signal prevents multi-vehicle crashes,” Ponziani said in a statement.
Researchers said they anticipated more advanced turn signals to “be integrated into production vehicles in the near future,” but emphasized urgency because it would save lives.
The spotlight on distracted driving in April, labeled National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, billed distractions behind the wheel as today’s biggest public safety threat on the roads, but SAE researchers say that attention is misdirected.
Even though federal officials estimate that distractions behind the wheel lead to about 950,000 crashes a year and make up 20 percent of injury-related crashes, SAE researchers compared those rates to their own findings, which concluded that drivers who fail to use their turn signals caused 2 million crashes a year.
“[T]urn-signal neglect is actually a more significant safety issue” than distracted driving, the report’s authors stated.
The report compiled observations made of 12,000 vehicles as they turned or changed lanes.
For more on this and related issues, head to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/cheap/ for access to an easy-to-use quote-comparison generator and informative resource pages.
News Source: http://www.free-press-release.com/news-online-auto-insurance-report-touts-turn-signal-tech-to-reduce-crashes-1336168069.html
Official Website: http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/
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