Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons
ADVERTISEMENT

Road Safety

New research released today by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK doesn't tell us much we didn't know before, but it does put it in context. The smartphone is headed for ubiquitous usage, and the wonderful real-time communications and information services it offers are making the roads considerably LESS safe due to the distraction. Due no doubt to its higher levels of engagement, social networking while driving is considerably less safe than texting, drinking to the legal limit and smoking marijuana. And yes, talking on a mobile phone with or without a hands-free is definitely not good for your health, or the health of other road users. Read More
Basic car safety systems designed to save lives in the event of an accident like seatbelts and airbags are being supplemented in modern vehicles by increasingly sophisticated preventative technologies such as ABS and lane departure warning systems. The next step in the evolution of collision prevention technology is vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems like that found on the LTE Connected Car and BMW's Vision ConnectedDrivet concepts that would allow vehicles to share information on their relative location and road conditions. GM has recently announced it is testing small, portable devices that create a "wireless safety net" to gather information from other vehicles and infrastructure to warn drivers of potential hazards. Read More
The UK's Highway Code advises the use of care when approaching a level crossing and to only drive onto a crossing if the exit is clear on the other side. After all, finding yourself blocked on the track when a train is coming is probably not a great position to be in (unless you can depend on Hancock to stop the train before it hits). While such things may seem like common sense, that doesn't appear to prevent drivers from taking stupid risks. Now Network Rail and Garmin have teamed up to create a special sat nav app which will sound a train-like whistle when a driver approaches a level crossing. Read More
Many people are afraid of riding their bicycles on busy roads full of motorized vehicles, and it's easy to understand why. Not only are bikes slower and offer less protection than cars, but they can also be more difficult for drivers to notice. A device invented by a British design student, however, could help level the playing field a little. It's called BLAZE, and it alerts drivers to the presence of a cyclist by projecting a laser image onto the road in front of the bicycle. Read More
Reading the morning paper while behind the wheel of your car might sound like surefire recipe for disaster, but in the not-too-distant future it might just become a safer and more economical option than actually doing the driving yourself. That's the theory behind SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project – a synthesis of personal and public transport that will allow cars to be daisy-chained and automatically controlled by a lead vehicle in a process dubbed "platooning." The project has now made the leap from simulator to real roads in the first successful demonstration of the technology at the Volvo Proving Ground near Gothenburg, Sweden. Read More
A student from Bournemouth University (UK) has designed a motorcycle helmet that will be easier for paramedics to remove after an accident, saving vital seconds and possibly lives. The novel design provides quick and safe removal via side clips which unlock the interior and allowing the helmet to slide apart. Read More
In July of 2008, the European Union launched ASSETT (Advanced Safety and Driver Support for Essential Road Transport), a program aimed at reducing accidents caused by traffic rule violations. It involves a consortium of 19 partner organizations in 12 countries, but it boils down to one thing thing for European drivers – the police will be handing out more tickets. In order to cover a larger number of vehicles, while making things easier for officers and more fair for motorists, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland is currently testing a mobile system that monitors traffic and notes when infractions occur. Read More
We first covered the Reevu helmet, with its built-in rear view mirror for motorcyclists, back in 2005. It's an excellent idea - a rider's vision and situational awareness are huge components of road safety. The more you know about what's happening around and behind you, the more options you've got in an emergency or a simple lane change situation. Well, it's been a long road to the market, but Reevu has finally announced that its RV MSX1 helmet has passed European standards testing, and is now available for distribution. It should be homologated for use worldwide in the near future, and if the final price is right, we're sure these guys are onto a real winner. Read More
Wouldn't it be great if driving in thick fog, pounding rain or blizzard snow wasn't a visibility nightmare and road markings or important signage remained clear whatever the conditions. General Motors may be on the verge of striking automotive safety gold if the augmented vision display system its R&D team recently demonstrated finds its way to commercial development. Read More
The world's population is aging rapidly, with implications in numerous areas, not the least of which is that the number of male drivers over the age of 70 will double in the next 20 years, and the number of female drivers over 70 will treble. Does this pose a greater risk on the roads? A new in-depth report released today by the UK's IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists contradicts the common assumption that older drivers are a danger on the roads, comprehensively proving that drivers over 70 are no more likely to cause crashes than any other driver, and are indeed, considerably safer than younger drivers. Read More
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT