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New technology could prevent winter weather car accidents

As winter approaches in Bergen County, it likely won't be long before the roads are covered with snow and ice. Traffic safety agencies do all they can to warn motorists of unsafe driving conditions on New Jersey roads, but there is only so much they can do to prevent winter weather-related car accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Every year, there are approximately 1.5 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States that are caused by or related to snow, ice, rain or other unsafe weather conditions, resulting in approximately 7,000 deaths. In an effort to lower these statistics, a team of researchers is working to create an advanced warning system that will alert travelers of the exact level of danger posed by the road on which they are traveling.

The warning system, which was designed by a group of atmospheric scientists and engineers, consists of advanced sensors that are embedded in the pavement. The sensors contain infrared lasers that are able to remotely read the road's surface temperature and the temperature of the ground below the pavement. They are then able to determine the type and thickness of precipitation on the road, such as ice, snow or rain. That information is sent to computers, who will rate the road red, yellow, or green, notifying drivers of the safety of the road.

It will likely be some time before this technology becomes widely available in New Jersey, but it is promising that researchers are making progress in developing methods for car accident prevention.

If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident caused by unsafe driving conditions, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: Ivanhoe Broadcast News, "Safe or Slippery - Detecting Dangerous Roads," Kevin Petty, Dec. 2011

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