According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 6.5 million reported crashes in 2017 (the most recent available data), many of which were avoidable.
Among them are the three most common vehicle accidents:
1. Unintended lane departures. These, reports the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, are among the deadliest collision types and are more likely to occur when the driver is sleepy, sick or distracted.
2. Frontal collisions. These can happen at high speeds and to drivers who are distracted or impaired — but their victims could be anyone.
3. Nighttime accidents. To reduce your risk of these, suggests the National Safety Council:
• Aim your headlights correctly and make sure they’re clean
• Dim your dashboard
• Look away from oncoming lights
• Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks
• If you wear glasses, get the anti-reflective kind
• Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time
• Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for 16 hours or more
• Stop every two hours to rest.
High Tech: Making a Difference
The experts on vehicle safety at luxury automaker Lexus point out that collision protection starts with collision prevention. And this is where innovative technologies can make a difference. In fact, the brand recently announced that its advanced Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+) — anchored by automatic emergency braking — will be a standard feature in all its vehicles starting with the 2020 model year.
“We are working to prevent accidents before they happen,” said David Christ, group vice president and general manager, Lexus Division. “That’s why we have developed some of the most advanced safety features on the road today, and now those systems will be standard equipment on every model we sell.”
The system consists of an integrated suite of four advanced active safety packages anchored by automated pre-collision warning and braking. Here’s how they work:
1. Pre-Collison System with Pedestrian Detection: This system is engineered to help detect a preceding vehicle or a pedestrian in front of the Lexus under certain conditions. Should the system detect a pedestrian or a potential frontal collision, it’s designed to activate an audible and visual alert while automatically preparing Brake Assist for increased braking response. If the driver does not brake in time, the system is designed to automatically begin braking before impact and, in some cases, can even bring the vehicle to a stop.
2. Lane Departure Alert: This system utilizes a high-resolution camera to monitor visible lane markings and determine the vehicle’s position within a lane. If an inadvertent lane departure or potential departure due to swaying is detected at speeds above 32 mph, the system attempts to alert the driver with audio and visual warnings and steering wheel vibrations.
3. Intelligent High Beams: To help provide added visibility for the Lexus driver as well as other motorists, Intelligent High Beams offer added illumination to help keep the driver focused on the road. When the road ahead is clear, the system defaults to high-beam mode, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
4. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control: This system uses radar and camera technology to help maintain a preset speed and following distance from the vehicle ahead. If driving at highway speeds and the road ahead clears, the vehicle returns to its preset speed.
For further information, visit www.lexus.com/safety.