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Volvo promises safer cars in future

California drivers may be interested in learning that Volvo has said that by 2020, they aim for people in their cars to be entirely safe from fatal accidents or even serious injury. Volvo is planning to use some of the technology that is being developed for self-driving vehicles to make their cars safer. Some of the technology is already in their vehicles. For example, adaptive cruise control brakes if necessary and adjusts speed based on distance from other cars.

Cameras on vehicles can detect speed limits on road signs as well as those that warn about hazards ahead. Furthermore, they can tell if drivers are drifting in their lanes or if pedestrians are nearby. They can even warn about animals on the road, such as deer.

Volvo is one of several companies that is working on fully autonomous vehicles, but vehicles that allow the car to take over when the driver's attention or ability falters is another step toward that. Such vehicles may also help convince and reassure the public about the superior safety of driverless vehicles.

Despite advances in safety technology, many people are still seriously injured in car accidents each year. In some cases, those accidents may be the fault of a driver who is distracted or driving under the influence. A careless driver might cause an accident by looking away from the road briefly to speak to a passenger in the car or for some other reason. Such actions may not rise to the level of criminal behavior, but it still might be possible to file a lawsuit against the driver in a civil suit. This might be necessary if the driver's insurance company does not offer enough money to cover the injured person's medical costs and other expenses. For example, the injured person might also lose wages from work due to a long recovery period.

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