Collision Avoidance Systems: The Real Truth

Collision Avoidance Systems: The Real Truth

The advancements made in automotive safety over the past 20 years have been nothing short of revolutionary. Although all drivers know they need to keep their focus on the road, mistakes can happen; that’s where Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) come into play. However, it’s important to understand that although CAS technology is extremely beneficial for improving road safety, it has its limitations and is designed to enhance (rather than replace) your vigilance on the road. 

What Are Collision Avoidance Systems?

Collision Avoidance Systems are a type of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology that includes a variety of features that help drivers avoid accidents. These include lane departure warnings, forward collision warnings, active and automatic braking systems, blind-spot monitoring, and rearview cameras. These technologies monitor what’s happening on the road and either alert drivers about potential hazards or make autonomous corrections to prevent an accident. 

CAS features are now used widely in the majority of late-model vehicles, and while they have been shown to reduce accidents, studies have also found that their performance can be greatly affected by visibility and maintenance. There are some situations where they may not work as well, such as extremely foggy or snowy conditions, or if the cameras are affected by an intense glare. Likewise, sudden impacts, such as a fender bender, can jolt sensors and other delicate equipment out of place—which can lead to inaccurate readings. 

How Do Collision Avoidance Systems Work?

Many CAS features rely on cameras positioned throughout the vehicle to continually monitor its surroundings. The cameras are designed to identify lane markers, vehicles, and other obstacles, but they can have trouble in conditions where something is obscuring their view—such as snow covering the road, a nearby car hidden in heavy fog, or a lane marker with worn and faded paint. 

Blind-spot monitoring (BSM) usually relies on radar technology located in the rear fender. Although it’s generally dependable, radar can have trouble monitoring the road if the lens gets wet. In addition, most cars don’t warn you if the collision avoidance system is offline or is having trouble detecting the road conditions it’s supposed to be monitoring. 

With these limitations in mind, it’s important not to rely on collision avoidance systems completely. You should still focus on keeping your eyes on the road at all times and avoid distractions. 

Emerging Technologies and Their Impact on Vehicle Safety

Vehicle safety technology doesn’t stop at just collision avoidance systems, however. Here are some of the latest technologies designed to improve safety and prevent accidents: 

  • Rear and Side Camera Improvements: All new vehicles are now required to have rear cameras. Improvements are also being made in side cameras to help prevent backup accidents and eliminate blind spots. 
  • Headlight Advancements: Adaptive headlights adjust their brightness depending on the vehicle’s speed and direction, which helps improve visibility at night and in challenging road conditions. 
  • Parking Assistance: Parking is made easier with the help of parking sensors, rear cameras, automatic parking systems, and apps designed to locate parking spaces.
  • Advanced Braking and Steering Systems: Forwards-Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking systems significantly decrease the chances of getting into a rear-end collision, while Electronic Stability Control corrects the steering when a vehicle skids or loses traction. 

In addition, Augmented Reality (AR) is poised to be another game-changer for vehicle safety by improving navigation, vehicle diagnostics, and even the car buying experience through enhanced information delivery. 

Autonomous Vehicle Accidents: Who’s At Fault?

Google conducted several real-world tests with autonomous vehicles from 2009 – 2012, driving them in a variety of road conditions. What they found was that as time went by and the technology progressed, the risk of accidents went up. 

With autonomous vehicles becoming more commonplace, it raises an important question: if a self-driving vehicle gets into an accident with little to no human intervention, who’s at fault? In most cases, the responsibility lies with the manufacturer. 

Volvo stated in 2015 that the company would accept full liability for accidents involving its autonomous technology. Other manufacturers were expected to follow suit, until May 2016, when a driver was killed in their Tesla Model S using the autopilot feature. Since Tesla has stated that this feature requires human control for safe driving, the driver was eventually determined to be at fault. 

It’s important to remember that self-driving cars have varying levels of autonomous technology, and like CAS features, should still be treated cautiously. Additionally, the level of autonomy in self-driving cars matters when it comes to liability and insurance.

Navigating Automotive Safety: Balancing Technology with Responsibility

Automotive safety is an evolving landscape that relies not only on technological advancements but also on responsible driving. CAS, AR, and autonomous technologies, while helpful, shouldn’t be solely relied on to keep you safe on the road. Understanding how these technologies work and their limitations is essential. 

When accidents happen, knowing where to go for expert collision repair is just as important. Cline Collision Center is here to bring your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition. From minor dents to ADAS calibration, we’re committed to providing high-quality OEM repairs that keep your vehicle safe and reliable. Contact us today at (707) 591-9909 or schedule an appointment online.