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Road Test Involving Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Expanded

Casey Woodruff

It is a well-known fact that motor vehicle accidents could lead to serious injuries. Such injuries not only take a toll upon the injured physically and emotionally, but financially as well. There are several approaches that may be taken to reduce these often devastating events which occur in cities throughout the nation, including Chicago. In addition to focusing on changing the behavior of drivers, improvements may be made to the safety of the motor vehicles on the road. Past examples of the latter approach include the addition of airbags.

An accident prevention tactic that is currently in the testing phase is vehicle-to-vehicle communication. The program involves outfitting vehicles and stoplights with transponders that can then communicate locations with other vehicles on the road. A research scientist involved with the test indicates it could help to prevent the following types of motor vehicle accidents:

  • Intersection crashes.
  • Rear-end crashes.
  • Lane change crashes.

The road test, which is being conducted by the University of Michigan on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation, recently completed its first phase and is preparing for the second phase. In this next phase, 9,000 vehicles will be used. In addition, pedestrians will be added into the mix. This phase is expected to last 24 months. The first phase, which lasted 18 months, involved bicycles, trucks, motorcycles and approximately 3,000 cars.

The goal of the test is to determine whether the use of the transponders reduces the number of motor vehicle accidents that occur, thereby improving road safety. Though the results are not yet in, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already indicated its plan to move toward the use of the technology. Automakers are likely keenly awaiting the study’s results as well. This is because driverless (or autonomous vehicles) would require this type of technology to function.

All would likely welcome a world where motor vehicle accidents are eradicated. While technological advancements continue to make the act of driving a car safer, nonetheless, currently crashes still do occur. When serious injuries or death are the outcome of such incidents, a personal injury lawsuit may follow. For the best chance of holding negligent drivers accountable for these injury inducing accidents, it is advisable to contact a lawyer who handles such matters.

Source: Automotive News, “More vehicles, walkers join accident prevention study,” David Sedgwick, April 21, 2014

Photo credit: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

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