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A new application could reduce motorcycle accidents

Motorcyclists in North Carolina may soon be able to use a new application that enables communication among other vehicles on the roadway. Vehicle-to-vehicle technology may make it safer for motorcyclists to travel because it allows cars to talk to each other, warning that a motorcyclist is in a driver's blind spot, identifying potential risks related to construction zones and aiding in the reduction of crashes in regards to lane changes.

The technology is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is being extensively evaluated. Research has indicated that the V2V application addresses the majority of vehicle collisions and has been tested under both controlled testing environments and live traffic situations.

The department conducted the largest road test in history in August 2012 with over 3,000 cars using the V2V technology, and the test was highly successful. It adequately provided ample warnings to drivers, allowing them to avoid imminent collisions even though it does not automatically operate vehicle functions like braking or steering. The application enables the driver to have a 360-degree vantage point while on the road, cutting down on the amount of injuries and fatalities that relate to accidents. As an example, if a vehicle is assessing whether it is safe or not to make a lane change, it could be alerted that a motorcyclist is approaching, which could prevent a serious accident from taking place.

Since a motorcycle may be particularly harder to spot because of its size, this new technology could cause a reduction in the number of catastrophic injuries that occur in a motorcycle accident. A motorcyclist is particularly vulnerable in a collision because the individual is completely exposed and unrestrained.

Source: Ultimate MotorCycling magazine, "Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications for Motorcycles?", Gary Ilminen, Jan. 6, 2015

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