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How Safe Will Your Next Vehicle Be?

Consider how your current vehicle stacks up to your last one. Depending on how frequently you trade up, the differences between the two could be stark. In just a few years, advances in vehicle features have included rearview cameras, lane departure warnings, and blind-spot alerts. Your next vehicle will likely include many more features.

Progress is the name of the game in the automotive world, so consumers can expect that with every passing year, we’ll have more and more features in our vehicles. That might sound promising, but it’s worth taking a step back to think about the potential downsides of these advancements.

Yes, you’ll have plenty of bells and whistles to play with and a slew of safety features, but what are the risks of becoming too reliant on autonomous systems?

5 Things Your Next Vehicle Might Offer

What can you expect out of your next vehicle? The chances are good that newer models in the years to come will include several exciting features, including:

  1. Health monitoring – Manufacturers are currently developing technology to monitor drivers’ heart health and glucose levels.
  2. Autonomy – We’ve been hearing about self-driving cars for years. Though nearly all drivers are still operating their own vehicles, this technology will inevitably become more common on our roads.
  3. Windshields with incredible displays – Your next car’s windshield might include displays that give you weather data or show you how far you are from a potentially dangerous object.
  4. Self-diagnosis – Though your vehicle is probably already equipped with some self-diagnostic equipment (after all, check engine lights have been around for ages), this technology will become even more advanced in the years to come.
  5. Communication with other vehicles – As automated systems continue to be included in new vehicles, the ability of vehicles to communicate with each other will be a necessity.

These are just a few of the buzzworthy technological advances that consumers can look forward to, but the list is as long as your imagination.

Why You Shouldn’t Get Your Hopes Up Just Yet

So, now that we’ve explored why we should all be thrilled about what your next car might include, let’s talk about the scarier prospects of the vehicles of tomorrow.

First, it will likely be years before most of us are riding in fully autonomous vehicles. Before we get there, vehicles will have varying degrees of autonomy, and that crucial moment when a vehicle switches from driving itself to needing an operator could create a danger zone for motorists. It’s possible that the more automated our driving systems become, the less skilled we become as drivers.

Second, though the self-driving frenzy that first emerged following the release of semi-autonomous vehicles has subsided a bit, manufacturers are still in a sprint to be the first to offer cutting edge autonomy to consumers. Their arms race could prove dangerous for motorists if manufacturers hastily release advanced models that aren’t ready yet for consumer use.

Tesla’s autopilot system is one example of what could happen if manufacturers release technologies before it’s safe to do so. The technology has made headlines whenever it is involved in a fatal crash, and Consumer Reports has expressed concern about the safety of Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot system. The outlet said that the lane-changing feature might struggle to perform as intended in heavy traffic.

Cybersecurity concerns and vehicle affordability round out our list of worries about what the future might have in store for motorists. We are hopeful for a safer future, but it’s clear that there are many hurdles to clear before we get there.

Who is Responsible for Ensuring the Safety of Your Next Vehicle?

If vehicles of tomorrow are increasingly automated, and human beings play a diminishing role on our roads, who is responsible when crashes happen? Vehicle manufacturers will be responsible for the safety of their products, just like they are today.

You might find that a little alarming, which is understandable. Automakers make mistakes, and those errors are costly for consumers and motorists. Takata airbags, Ford Broncos, GM ignition switches—there are plenty of examples that show us what can go wrong when manufacturers sell dangerous products.

Get Help After a Crash

Until the day where self-driving vehicles take over our streets, careless driving will continue to pose a threat. Human error is still responsible for up to 98 percent of all crashes.

If you’ve been involved in a crash and you’re wondering how you’re going to pay your medical bills, we suggest you contact the Oklahoma car accident attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn to schedule a free consultation with our team. We can help you determine who was at fault for your crash and fight to get you the payment you’re entitled to.