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On 11/5/20, the Iowa Association for Justice (f/k/a the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association) named Russ Hixson, of Hixson & Brown, the Outstanding Member Award recipient for 2020.

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Pre-crash warning systems are proving their worth

The past few years has seen a dramatic increase in the number of pre-collision warning systems installed on modern vehicles. Lane departure warning, blind spot warning and oncoming traffic detectors while backing are just some of the features installed on later model vehicles. Due to these and other devices, the streets of Iowa are becoming safer.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), one of the largest trade safety research organizations, recently conducted a study of vehicle collisions in 2015. The study found that in vehicles equipped with accident warning systems, sideswipe and head-on crashes were reduced by 11 percent. For accidents caused by lane departure and failing to see a vehicle in the driver’s blind spot, accidents were reduced more than 20 percent. The IIHS studied 5,000 incidents occurring in 2015. IIHS researchers claim that up to 55,000 injuries could have been avoided that year if these features were installed in all vehicles.

A lane departure detection device warns the driver with an audible beep or tone to alert the driver of sudden drifting from his or her traffic lane. A blind spot detection system monitors the areas just to the rear of the driver side and passenger side of the vehicle, the most common blind spot area. It will provide the driver a warning that a vehicle is in a blind spot. Other advanced safety features include back up cameras, steering assistance and automatic braking if the vehicle approaches an object in the road.

With the success of such systems, it may only be a matter of time before they become standard equipment on new vehicles. In the meantime, deadly accidents will unfortunately continue on the roads of Iowa. By filing personal injury lawsuits, victims of such accidents may be able to obtain compensation for damages.

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