Cars today are light years ahead of where they were just a decade ago and all this new technology is actually saving lives. That’s the conclusion of a study done by the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research group supported by the insurance industry. They looked at a variety of the latest safety systems and found at least a few which were making a big difference when it comes to automobile safety:
Particularly effective, the study said, are “forward collision avoidance systems,” which alert drivers when they are quickly gaining on objects in their path and may crash. Some of these systems feature automatic braking if the driver fails to respond.
Car models available with this feature include the Mercedes-Benz CL Class sedan, the Volvo XC60 and the Acura MDX SUVs.
The Highway Loss Data Institute found that property damage liability claims were 14% lower for models from Acura and Mercedes-Benz featuring forward collision avoidance systems, including automatic braking, than in models without them. Property damage liability claims include damage to other vehicles caused by the insured vehicle.
The Volvo autonomous braking system reduced crashes by 10%, though that finding wasn’t deemed statistically significant.
Injury claims also dipped slightly for most vehicles with forward collision avoidance systems, though not by a statistically significant amount in most cases.
Not to be overlooked are basic safety systems such as seat belts and air bags which have also been shown to save lives, but which are now considered “yesterday’s news” when it comes to automobile technology.
As more vehicles continue to hit the roads and even more new drivers emerge from their garages, it stands to reason that the incidents of traffic crashes are going to go up. Automobile manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to counter this trend and keep everyone, and their cars, as safe as possible.