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Cars of the near future might avoid crashes on their own

Ever since the automobile was invented, there have been calls to make cars safer. Motor vehicles today truly are technological wonders that would have been inconceivable a century ago -- but folks today still aren't immune from car accidents. Advancements in car safety features have led to seat belts, air bags and other improvements; awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving -- and laws with more teeth to punish drunk drivers -- have cut down on innocent people being injured or killed in Maryland and all over the country.

And yet, accidents still happen. All the focus on safer cars and safer drivers can only do so much; car accidents are still a regular occurrence in this country. It may be that the best way -- perhaps the only way -- to prevent them altogether. And emerging technology is aiming to do just that.

One way to accomplish that is to rely less on the human element -- drivers -- and put more reliance on the vehicles themselves to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. The federal Transportation Department recently announced that it plans to require new vehicles sold in the U.S. to include what's being called V2V technology -- that's "vehicle to vehicle."

Basically, cars on the road would be able to communicate with one another, calculating where they are going and how fast they're traveling. In this way, cars can alert drivers to potentially dangerous situations. Estimates are that this could decrease the number of accidents by up to 80 percent -- a staggering number -- and prevent 20,000 road accident deaths every year.

Until we reach that point, of course, Baltimore residents will continue to be involved in car accidents -- and suffer injuries as a result. Finding the right legal representation can be crucial for people who need to recover compensation from at-fault parties.

Source: ABC News, "New Cars to Be Required to 'Talk to Each Other'," David Kerley and Alexander Mallin, Feb. 3, 2014

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