Preventing Wrong-Way Crashes

The Department of Transportation is researching ways to prevent devastating wrong-way crashes on the road.

Wrong Way Crash Prevention

WASHINGTON D.C. (WENY) -- We have a follow-up to a story we first brought you last week about wrong-way crashes.  We told you the National Transportation Safety Board is working on a report that would provide recommendations to prevent these kinds of crashes.  Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation is doing their part too.  They’re working with automakers to research and install vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology that experts say could prevent 80-perecent of crash scenarios.

“We think it can be a game-changer for safety,” said Ron Medford, depputy administrator of the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).


The NHTSA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is currently working with major automakers – including GM, Chrysler, and Ford – to develop V2V and V2I.


“This technology has the potential to allow vehicles to communicate with each other, to understand their current positions, and help avoid the crashes,” explained Medford.


Think of it as a sort of Wi-Fi signal between cars.  Medford V2V could help alert the driver if there’s not enough room to pass another car. 


“This technology would be used in addition to onboard sensing capabilities that many vehicles are already deploying like lane departure warning and forward collision warning,” he said.


Medford says, in the future, V2V could even automatically brake your car or steer it away.  He says it’ll take another year to analyze all the research and the costs involved to implement V2V.


“We definitely think that it could be a benefit for consumers and not be that expensive,” said Medford.


We’ll be able to show you more about how V2V works later this month.  There will be a demonstration at the Intelligent Transportation Systems conference in Maryland.  Then, this summer, the DOT will launch a model deployment in Ann Arbor, Michigan where 2,800 cars equipped with V2V will communicate with each other and collect data for a whole year.