TIP OF THE WEEK

When it comes to driver safety, parents want teens to be protected. Advanced safety technology such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning are all available, but do these features give teens a false sense of security?

And when it comes to safety, how do seatbelts compare to the new technology?

Getting behind the wheel is one of the most dangerous activities for a teen. Six teens of driving age die every day from motor vehicle injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Semi-autonomous, advanced safety technology is here to stay and only becoming more common. With new technology comes a rash of studies, and agencies report different and sometimes conflicting results.

For example, in 2012, when the industry was just starting to implement collision avoidance technologies, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute noted that such features were reducing crashes by 14 percent.

On the other hand, a 2018 study from the institute noted that such technologies had particular problems, including significant issues on hills and curves. Advanced cruise control performance was also singled out for too-abrupt braking or failure to brake in some tests.

The bottom line from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: Advanced safety features do make driving safer but those technologies are only effective when they work, so the driver has to be trained and cannot rely on technology alone.

One basic technology that is proven to work though is seatbelts.

Seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent. They also reduce the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent.

Yet in 2015, more than 50 percent of teens who were killed in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing one.

There is simply no technology on Earth that is as effective as a seatbelt in preventing death or catastrophic injury in an automobile, but it has to be worn to be effective.

— Craig Fitzgerald/BestRide.com

Did you know

Fully autonomous technology is making its way into our cars, but it’s a process that will take time. One step could be virtual drivers. Designated Driver, based out of Portland, Oregon, has developed technology that lets a human driver pilot a vehicle remotely. The system uses a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and a Samsung VR headset enabled by Vodafone’s 5G network. A real life virtual reality drive took place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England during the first week of July.

Car Stats

Teens have an 89.2% chance of being involved in a car crash during their first three years of driving. No matter the time of year, teen drivers don’t have the best records, but summer is especially dangerous. An average of 1,022 people died during the “100 deadliest days” (summer) in each of the last five years in crashes involving teen drivers, according to AAA.

— Nicole Wakelin/BestRide.com