Auto safety technology has made some wonderful advances during the past few decades. One such technology that has been in development for more than a decade now is the lane departure warning system. If a car equipped with this system starts to drift over the yellow line that divides the two sides of the road, the car will send out a signal to alert the driver to change positions and stay on their side of the road, thereby avoiding a potential accident.
Jessica Cicchino is the vice president of research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. She has been studying lane departure warnings, as well as other safety features credited for a decrease in car accidents. Through her research, she has noticed the positive impact of the lane departure warning feature. Thanks to this technology, side-swipe and head on single vehicle injury causing accidents have decreased by as much as 21 percent. "Given the large number of fatal crashes that involve unintentional lane departures," Cicchino said, "technology aimed at preventing them has the potential to save a lot of lives."
Research has shown that lane departure warnings have been proven to increase the safety of the drivers as well as others on the road. Lane departure warning systems, however, are not fail-safe. The system relies on the visibility of the yellow midline present on most paved roads. When driving on an unpaved road, or if there is snow covering that yellow midline, the system may not work correctly. Furthermore, if the system is disabled by the driver, or if the driver does not react when alerted to their car's shifting position, collisions can still happen.
Drivers are Still Responsible
Too many car accidents are caused by a distracted driver. When a driver is not paying attention to the road, their car might drift out of their lane and into oncoming traffic, potentially resulting in an accident. With lane departure warning systems, if they are used correctly, motorists can shift their car back into their lane before an accident occurs.
Lane departure warning can decrease your risk of an accident, but only if they are utilized correctly. Regardless of the safety features built into the car, it is the responsibility of the drivers to make sure that they are staying in their lane and checking their blind spots for other motorists.