At about 6:13 a.m. Sunday morning, a fatal car crash occurred in Austin, Texas, on West Parmer Lane and Lamplight Village Avenue. According to witnesses, a motorist lost control of his vehicle and rear-ended the car 37-year-old Jong Kim was driving. The driver and passenger of the car that struck Kim’s vehicle both fled the scene. When Austin-Travis County EMS arrived, they found the two wrecked vehicles and the deceased in his car. Police located and arrested the other motorist and the passenger after they were treated at University Medical Center Brackenridge for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver is charged both with fleeing the scene and failing to stop and render aid.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been very interested in making a case for standardizing Electronic Stability Control (ESC), pre-braking systems, sensors, and other collision avoidance technologies and is trying to require that these be standard for passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. The NHTSA released some statistics related to traffic accidents, including rear-end collisions in particular, as follows:
- 23% of all crashes in the U.S. are loss of control or run-off-the-road incidents.
- 28% of all traffic collisions are rear-end collisions.
- About 9% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by bad lane changes.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), forward collision warning systems will prevent many fatalities. They provided the following statistics about forward collisions:
- There are 115 fatal collisions in large trucks every year.
- There are 897 fatal crashes in passenger vehicles annually.
- Approximately 247 fatal crashes could be prevented annually with lane departure warning systems.
- ESC, it is believed, will prevent about 439 traffic fatalities each year.