Driving is one of the greatest joys of life. For many people, using a car is only for getting to work, taking the kids to school, and picking up groceries. But for others, a vehicle can be an escape. Driving your favorite roads in the summer is a joy. And taking a road trip with friends is akin to a religious experience under the right conditions.
Escapism aside, if we are honest about it, most of us could be better drivers. But, instead, you might like to drive your way, have forgotten essential safety tips, or picked up your dad’s bad driving habits. In the United States alone, there are approximately 35,000 deaths per year from road traffic accidents. While many of these are due to intoxication, many are from simple lousy driving – and could have been avoided.
Drive Improved and Modernized Roads
Not every road accident is down to the driver. There are many hazardous roads worldwide, and many cities and towns simply haven’t accommodated the exponential growth of road traffic by improving their traffic systems and roadways. As a result, it has been left too late, and many roads are suffering degradation. Issues such as potholes and traction loss plague many road systems. But recently, some nations have begun to improve traffic infrastructure with traffic calming techniques as a contemporary and cost-effective alternative to digging up the tarmac.
Basically, roads are imprinted with improved features that direct traffic and pedestrians accordingly. Features such as bike and bus lanes, medians, and textured surfaces that alert drivers are integrated into existing traffic systems. Smart highways are also now being built that actively manage traffic and alert you to conditions as you drive them.
Use Vehicle AI Assistance
Modern vehicles are becoming more technologically advanced. Almost all manufacturers now offer artificial intelligence systems in their new models that assist with collision detection, hazardous driving conditions, and even automatic wipers. And fully autonomous, driverless vehicles are now a reality rather than science fiction.
For all the gimmicks, some of the best uses of AI in cars is in its assistance features. For example, parking assistance will use AI to automatically park your car. All you have to do is accelerate and brake when the car tells you to. Parking assistance is excellent for getting into spaces that you would usually leave. On-board sensors and cameras are also standard. These can detect anything or anyone approaching the vehicle and will alert you accordingly.
Keep on Learning
But technology and improved systems aside, the best tool you have to become a better and safer driver is your own brain. Your brain is always learning, and the intuition of the human mind is nothing short of miraculous. Computers and AI can perform complex calculations extremely quickly. But they cannot react as fast as the human brain. In 1 millisecond, the human mind can assess and respond to a situation.
But the brain can only react in response to a situation based upon information it holds. In short, your brain needs to understand that something is wrong before acting. The best way to teach your brain is by continuously learning safe driving practices. Although you have passed your test, you shouldn’t simply stop teaching yourself. Driving is an ongoing experience, and there are many bad drivers out there. Therefore, you can significantly improve road safety by being more knowledgeable than the guy dangerously tailgating you for the past 12 miles.