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Addressing driver safety with technology

Drivers in Louisiana may come upon any number of traffic situations, even during a quick trip to the grocery store. Responding to these correctly and safely may take full concentration, good judgment and excellent reflexes. When any factor is missing, the results may be fatal. Forbes magazine points out that eliminating the potential for motor vehicle crashes resulting from failures in any of these areas has become the driving motivation for developers of technology.

Some technology focuses on the outside of the vehicle, sensing objects and other vehicles in front and back, as well as in blind spots. Radar, cameras and GPS systems help with these operations, and the computers may activate an alert to the driver, or even take over and make the necessary response without input from behind the wheel. To encourage responsibility and safety, some systems focus on the inside of the vehicle, monitoring the physical state of the person in the driver seat.

Statistics have provided the inspiration for the systems, as well as the impetus. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the primary cause in 94 percent of crashes is driver error.

The most common type of driver mistake involved recognition. In approximately 41 percent of the error-related accidents, drivers either did not do a good assessment of the road around them, or they allowed distractions inside or outside the vehicle to take their attention from the road. Speeding and other illegal actions, falling asleep behind the wheel, overcompensation, and other performance and decision errors made up the remaining causes.

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