These days our vehicles come with numerous features that can help us do all kinds of things on the road. The most important ones, though, are safety features.

Vehicle deaths in the U.S. were up to roughly 37,000 in 2016. This is after a decline in the preceding four years, according to Jeff Varick of Brandmotion, a company that specializes in aftermarket safety technology. Three percent of the increase is due to additional miles traveled, but 14 percent is due to some form of distracted driving or excessive speed.

Varick also went on to cite a statistic that said if every vehicle on the road was equipped with modern ADAS systems, it could save up to 10,000 lives per year. Given that most of the vehicles on the road are older and not equipped with these systems, that creates a tremendous opportunity for the aftermarket to step in.

ADAS systems include features such as backup cameras, backup sensors, blind spot detection, night vision, lane change assist, and collision avoidance systems, just to name a few. Many of these systems are found in new vehicles on the road today. By May 2018, all vehicles sold in the U.S. will be required to have a backup camera.

Vision Zero is an initiative started in Sweden in 1997 to completely eliminate vehicle-related fatalities. Since then, Sweden has dramatically decreased vehicle-related fatalities while still keeping pace with increased traffic flow and a growing population. Much of this can be attributed to more stringent traffic laws, but it can also be tied to new vehicle technologies and ADAS systems.

New vehicles account for roughly 17 million vehicles in the U.S., but Varick points out that there are around 280 million vehicles registered in the U.S. total. This means that the vast majority of vehicles on the road are not equipped with some form of ADAS system. It’s estimated that it would take up to 30 years to bring all vehicles on the road into compliance with ADAS systems. Retrofitting older vehicles with aftermarket ADAS systems would reduce that time significantly.

Varick says that many people, including vehicle dealers, are not aware that ADAS technologies exist in the aftermarket. The Vision Zero Network is helping spread the word and raising funds to help modify some of these older vehicles with ADAS systems. If they succeed, our roads could be a much safer place in the years to come.

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About the Contributor
Eric the Car Guy
Feb 22, 2018

Eric Cook, the brains behind the uber popular Eric the Car Guy YouTube channel, makes auto repair videos for the everyday person to help empower them to work on their own vehicles. 

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