Automobile and road safety have gone a long way in the past hundred years. Today, modern technology makes our roads as safe as ever, albeit not a hundred percent danger-free. Nevertheless, continuous technological innovations are helping create roads that are safer for motorists and pedestrians alike. Here are some of the best examples:
Road markings are essential in guiding motorists as they drive through the road. Take a look at some of the best innovations for road markings in most recent years:
- Thermoplastic road marking paint. Due to the development of thermoplastic road marking paint, paired with professional road application services, road markings are more durable than ever, withstanding extreme heat, high pressure, and excessive dirt.
- Dynamic paint. Similar to thermoplastic road marking paint, dynamic paint can withstand extreme conditions. However, it has a slightly different function: it can change color depending on the condition of the road. For instance, if parts of the road tend to ice over, dynamic paint can warn motorists when the road is icy.
Driving while tired or sleepy is one of the most common causes of road accidents, often resulting in multiple injuries or even death. To combat this, automakers and tech developers have come up with anti-drowsy driving tech solutions, such as:
- Built-in anti-drowsy systems. Car manufacturers like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan have developed their own systems to combat drowsy driving. Each type of system has its own unique features, but the main goal is the same: to monitor driver behavior and alert them when the system detects driver fatigue
- Driving apps. There is also an abundance of smartphone apps that aim to keep drivers alert while driving. Examples include Drive Awake (detects your eyes and has an alarm go off if they close for too long), Anti Drowse (sounds an alarm at varying intervals to keep you awake), and Stay Awake While Driving (requires you to press a button at varying intervals and sounds an alarm if you fail). However, even with the help of these alertness apps, drivers should be mindful of their fatigue levels and, as much as possible, avoid driving while tired.
Upgraded traffic lights
Traffic lights are no longer as simple as they used to be. Now, various technological advancements have been made to traffic lights to improve their functionality and effectiveness, such as:
- LED lights. Compared to incandescent lights (which are widely used for traffic lights), LED lights are more energy-efficient, provides backup battery power in case of outages, last longer than other kinds of bulbs, and give off brighter illumination in all kinds of weather conditions.
- Countdown traffic lights. Having a visual cue of how much time until the light turns green makes waiting at a traffic light more bearable. More than that, it helps motorists see how much time they have until the light turns red again, helping prevent incidents of running a red light.
- Square traffic lights. Square traffic lights simply provide a bigger surface area for illumination, making them easier to see from a distance.
Anti-distracted driving apps
Distracted driving is another major cause of vehicular accidents all over the world. For this reason, anti-distracted driving apps exist today to help drivers keep their focus on the road ahead of them. These apps limit distractions for the driver by:
- Automatically replying to texts while you are driving, alerting the sender that you cannot reply right now
- Sending a message to non-urgent calls that you cannot answer the phone because you are driving
- Blocking notifications while you are on the road, minimizing the risk of getting distracted
- Simplifying your phone display to make it easier to use your phone without taking your eyes off the road for too long
- Alerting parents when their child turns off the app, texts while driving, or does other things that they are not supposed to behind the wheel
Data collection technology
Data collection is imperative to improving road safety even further. Many countries are already using data collection technology to gather information about road accidents, such as driving speeds, the use of seat belts, drunk driving incidences, the location of accidents, and more. This data helps countries improve their road safety measures and reduce incidences in accident-prone areas.
A significant part of road safety today can be attributed to the technological innovations made in recent years. But even though these technologies do not eliminate the risk of road accidents, they play a huge role in cutting down statistics of accidents caused by poor road visibility, drunk driving, distracted driving, and more.
What other technologies do you think have made a huge impact on the effectiveness of road safety today? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.