Be a #SafelyThere Ambassador
© Continental AG

From Soccer Nets to Safety Tech 

© Continental AG

Paul Paplinski is a Program Manager, Engine & Drivetrain Systems, North America, based in Deer Park, IL. This is his #SafelyThere story. 

I was driving my sons to soccer practice when we came across a busy intersection in town. Proceeding straight through the intersection at 45 mph, our car was partially hidden by a large SUV to our left. Unable to see us, a driver on the opposite side of the road made a left turn in front of us. With no time to react, we T-boned his vehicle. 

My car protected my family just as it was designed to do – the crumple cage absorbed the impact and the airbags and seat belt pretensioners kicked in. All involved walked away from the crash unscathed. It was, however, time to get a new vehicle. 

When we went to the dealership, we opted for the newer model with pre-collision warning. I am more confident knowing that the vehicle acts as a second pair of eyes when there are dangers that I might not see. After this event, I have also adapted my driving style. I am more conscious when entering an intersection, positioning my foot over the brake just in case it is necessary. 

According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 2.5 million crashes occur at intersections each year in the U.S. and many of them are due to left turns. I’m proud to work for a company that equips vehicles with safety technologies and intersections with sensors and cameras to give connected vehicles a more comprehensive view of the road. 

The aftermath of Paul's intersection crash. © Continental AG