Snow Jeopardizes Auto Safety SystemsJanuary 6, 2020
Modern technology has initiated vehicle manufacturers to produce the safest vehicles, including cars that are equipped with auto safety systems. Safety systems that include automatic braking, lane departures, and parking assistance, have created safer vehicles for drivers. There is proof that these safety systems help prevent car accidents, save lives, and help eliminate human error while driving. However, even the newest car technology is unable to perform adequately in winter weather.
Sensors and Cameras
Snow leads to ineffective safety systems when it blocks the vehicle’s sensors and cameras. When wet snow is blowing, it begins to build up on the radar signal. Breeze from driving a vehicle will cause the accumulation of snow to worsen and will eventually block the sensors, which leads the collision mitigation system to fail. This can also happen to other safety systems, such as lane departure and adaptive cruise control.
In the winter, snow can block the cameras on a vehicle. Newer vehicles often have backup cameras to help drivers with reversing. Similarly, many vehicles have cameras located on the side mirrors to help with lane departure. Those who have these cameras should try to clear them off before driving in the snow. However, drivers are encouraged to not depend on these safety systems while reversing or changing lanes.
Modern vehicles often come with LED lights instead of the halogen bulbs that came with older car models. Although LED lights tend to be more effective, they often run cool. In the winter months, this tends to present a problem on snowy days. Snow that is melting from the heat of the bulbs often accrue on the lights, which leads to a reduction of light. This could impact a driver’s ability to see the road.
Impact on Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous cars have yet to hit the market. The impact of snow on a vehicle’s safety system leads critics to believe that manufacturers need to further develop before autonomous cars become available to the public. Otherwise, self-driving vehicles would completely rely on sensors to travel. In order to combat this concern, critics are hopeful that car manufacturers will find a way to defrost cameras and prevent snow accumulation on sensors. This would allow sensors and cameras to work effectively, but modern technology is currently incapable of reaching these goals.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Support Car Accident Victims
If you or someone you know was hurt in a weather-related car accident, speak to one of our Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton for legal guidance about your case. Our lawyers will help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) for a free consultation.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, and Glen Burnie, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.