Does Volvo have the answer to SA’s countless fatal road accidents?

While it looks like there are really a thousand ways to die in 2020, one way keeps claiming lives without receiving the attention it deserves and has done so year after year. We’re talking about fatal road accidents – but we’re pleased to see that Volvo has made it their mission to put road safety top of mind for anyone who drives their cars.

From the birth of cars in 1886, fatal road accidents have claimed millions of lives, and while there have been huge strides in tackling the problem, much still needs to be done to save even more lives.

Globally, the rate of road traffic death stands at 18.2 per 100,000 population and 24 per 100,000 for the African continent. Even though the statistics for the African continent are bad on their own, the picture gets even grimmer in the South African context with the rate of road traffic deaths standing at 31 per 100,000 population. With an annual death toll of more than 14,000 related to motor vehicle accidents, South Africa is one of the countries with the worst safety records.

Among the many Automotive manufacturers in the world, Volvo has taken the forefront in the research and development of road safety technologies. 61 years ago, the company unveiled what would go on to save millions of lives on the road: the three-point seatbelt.

Fast forward to today, the Swedish company is still working hard to make the road an even safer place. In a webinar held on 15th October, Volvo revealed a number of new safety technologies that will come standard in all their new cars.

The headline feature was the new speed limiter; Volvo announced that all their new cars would be capped at a top speed of 180km/hr, a move that the company says will help drastically reduce the number of road accidents caused by overspeeding.

In sync with the new speed limiter, the company also introduced a new feature called “Care Key” that lets drivers set even lower speed limits for their cars. The feature comes in handy in situations where parents want to be in control of their children’s driving habits or where fleet managers want to regulate their drivers’ driving habits.

“Speed Cap and Care Key help people reflect and realise that speeding is dangerous, while also providing extra peace of mind and supporting better driver behaviour,” says Malin Ekholm, the company’s head of Safety.

In a bid to combat driver distraction and intoxicated driving, Volvo unveiled new cameras and sensors that would monitor drivers’ eyes and body movements. These will enable the car to slow down and safely park itself if it senses that the driver is in no condition to be driving.

Also on the agenda at the webinar was a discussion on children’s and teenagers’ contributions to reducing road fatalities, how to make car’s safer for children through the adoption of more advanced child car seats, and a new airbag that could replace helmets for cyclicts.

Volvo’s new technologies will be available in cars sold in South Africa. Here’s hoping that other manufacturers will soon follow suit. In the meantime, are you looking for a car with better safety features? We might have the answer for you. Click here to visit MotorHappy’s online marketplace, home to 1000s of previously loved vehicles. All vehicles listed on our site have a proven service history and undergo a stringent 116-point quality assurance check.

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