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Less Human Decisions and More Technology to Avoid Traffic Accidents


This article discusses how technological innovations have great capacity to reduce the accident rates caused by the human hand.

Safety is one of the most profound needs that people have and, at the same time, we are the biggest risk factor in road traffic. It is paradoxical, but humans seem to want both security and risk. In the days and surveys we have carried out (especially young people) within the framework of the 1,000,000 km project, an idea is repeated: driving equals freedom.


However, this form of driving that for many is synonymous with enjoying and feeling free is also the main cause of the accidents that occur on the streets and roads. The World Health Organization considers road safety as one of the most serious problems of our time. According to his data, there are about 1,250,000 deaths and 30,000,000 injured per year worldwide. In Spain alone, 1,180 people died in 2018.

Humans are the most complex factor in the formula of security. The level of risk we accept varies greatly depending on personal issues, age, sex and culture. But also influence the advertising campaigns of vehicle manufacturers. Many young people associate driving with what they see in films such as the fast and the furious and not the accident rate caused by traffic accidents.

Losses are usually related to specific causes (speed, drugs, alcohol or mobile phone use), but the psychological and sociological factors involved are usually not taken into account. In this sense, some examples of situations in which people are responsible for the accident rate are the following:
  • Many believe that drivers who respect safety distance are passive and inexperienced. That is why they consider that the level of risk is low and they drive very close to the other car. It is interesting to note that the driving distance varies when the vehicle in front is heavier than ours because, in that case, we increase the safety distance.
  • Another very common problem is the perception of motorcycle drivers that they have fewer restrictions because their vehicle is lighter and more maneuverable and, therefore, they believe that traffic regulations should be more flexible. Unfortunately, the data indicate that the level of accidents of motorcycles is higher than that of other types of vehicles, but many motorcycle drivers carry responsibility for cars or infrastructure.
  • The stress caused by road cuts, streets and access to airports because of protests from different social groups. This phenomenon has always occurred, but every day there are more frequent interruptions of traffic for this reason that generates stress in the drivers, which can trigger aggression. The emotional response of those affected may consist of trying to recover lost time in violation of traffic regulations.
  • A final point is the regulation of circulation and the signaling of the roads. The current regulation is complicated, many rules are unknown and drivers often end up taking the simple way: imitate what others do.
  • To reduce road accidents, human drivers will have to be stricter with compliance with the rules. However, the increase in security also involves developing and using electronic systems both in the infrastructures and in the vehicles themselves.
  • Regarding the first ones, it is evident that the improvement of the roads, the adequate maintenance and, in general, an optimal management of the same diminishes in a very important way the number of accidents and the consequences thereof.
  • Technologies are favoring the efficiency and safety of infrastructures. Some examples are the speed controls, the passing of the traffic lights in red and the adaptation of the signaling to the road conditions. In summary, this process is unstoppable and in the long term the routes will be adapted to electronic signaling and control systems.
  • The most serious problem today is the secondary roads and, in the future, this problem will increase due to the maintenance costs and the necessary renovation of these roads in the technological framework that is approaching.


To reduce road accidents, human drivers will have to be stricter with compliance with the rules. However, the increase in security also involves developing and using electronic systems both in the infrastructures and in the vehicles themselves.

Regarding the first ones, it is evident that the improvement of the roads, the adequate maintenance and, in general, an optimal management of the same diminishes in a very important way the number of accidents and the consequences thereof.

Technologies are favoring the efficiency and safety of infrastructures. Some examples are the speed controls, the passing of the traffic lights in red and the adaptation of the signaling to the road conditions. In summary, this process is unstoppable and in the long term the routes will be adapted to electronic signaling and control systems.

The most serious problem today is the secondary roads and, in the future, this problem will increase due to the maintenance costs and the necessary renovation of these roads in the technological framework that is approaching.