Driving Tips Issued As DOT Promotes Safety Technology

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to mandate the adoption of Vehicle-to-Vehicle technology on all new automobiles by the beginning of 2017. The personal injury lawyers of Levy Baldante are providing tips to drivers to avert tragedy in the meantime.

Until this technology becomes commonplace, it’s our hope that drivers will take the proper precautions every time they get behind the wheel.

For much of its history, the safety mandates promoted by the NHTSA and the Department of Transportation have placed an emphasis on the safety of the vehicle structure itself.

These advancements, while offering protection when a crash does occur, do nothing to promote the prevention of accidents in the first place. That may soon change, though, with the recent announcement that a proposal geared toward Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication adoption in new vehicles could come online in just a few short years.

The entire endeavor is explored in a February 3 New York Times piece entitled “U.S. Plans Car-to-Car Warning System.” The technology is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Cars communicate their speed and position in the road to one another, and if circumstances that have a high probability of a crash are detected, the onboard computer systems would react accordingly to prevent collisions.

The automobile accident lawyers of Levy, Baldante, Finney, Rubenstein, Cohen & Chizmar, P.C. are glad that the NHTSA is taking such a proactive approach to vehicle safety. Attorney Jack S. Cohen understands how widespread adoption could reduce accidents, but his concern is what will happen in the interim.

“The NHTSA should certainly be commended for making this bold proclamation,” said Mr. Cohen. “But the potential 2017 start date means years will pass without this life-saving technology, and widespread adoption will take longer, possibly even decades. Therefore, the potential for accidents won’t go away overnight. Until this technology becomes commonplace, it’s our hope that drivers will take the proper precautions every time they get behind the wheel.”

One of the chief areas where the new rule could boost public safety is at intersections, where drivers can’t necessarily benefit from a line of sight to incoming vehicles. Levy Baldante has put together tips geared toward such intersections that can be implemented while V2V draws ever closer:

•Stop, Look, It’s Your Mission- Rather than peel out into an intersection the moment the light turns green, take a second or two to scan the roadway in either direction to confirm that there aren’t any errant drivers plowing through the area in a failed bid to beat the light. Two seconds of additional waiting won’t hurt you in the long run.

•Mellow On Yellow- Don’t be the car that guns the accelerator to get through the intersection at a transitioning yellow light. If it’s a matter of not being able to stop before the intersection, chances are the vehicle is traveling too fast as is. When speed is reasonable, drivers should have no problem stopping at the appropriate position when a light turns yellow. Yellow only means “go” to vehicles already in the intersection.

•The Right Stuff- One of the most dangerous actions an otherwise safe driver can commit at a red light is make a right turn onto a two-lane street with a vehicle moving toward them down the far lane. Although there is technically room for the vehicle to move into the closer lane, deadly collisions can happen if the driver with the right-of-way switches lanes during the action. It’s best to wait until both lanes are clear before jutting out on a red light.

•The Switch- A lane change should never take place in the middle of an intersection. In doing, you put yourself at risk of facing the dangerous situation described in the preceding tip. Wait to pass other vehicles until after the lights are well behind you.

•Left Nothing To Chance- Many motorcycle collisions occur because the driver of an automobile turning left at an intersection fails to properly scan the road to identify the smaller conveyance coming toward them in the other direction. Always look twice before making a left turn, erring on the side of caution if ever you’re unsure of your ability to get through without forcing an oncoming vehicle, however small, to slow down or slam on the brakes.

The law firm of Levy, Baldante, Finney, Rubenstein, Cohen & Chizmar, P.C. has been fighting for the rights of injured parties since its founding in the 1960s. Recognized by such organizations as Super Lawyers, the American Association for Justice, and the Trial Lawyers Associations of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Levy Baldante is dedicated to assisting persons injured by medical malpractice, automobile accidents, defective products, premises liability, and other instances of personal injury. Please click here to learn more about the firm’s services.

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