How Effective Are Safety Features in Cars?

Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) are rapidly becoming standard features in new cars. Aside from familiar safety elements like seatbelts and airbags, many vehicles include collision warning systems, blind-spot detection, automatic emergency braking, etc. But are these safety features in cars making a difference? Vehicle crashes, accident injuries, and fatalities are in the news almost every day.

Cited by Forbes, research by LexisNexis Risk Solutions found that with ADAS-equipped vehicles, bodily injury claims have been reduced by 27%, and property damage claims are down 19%.¹ A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that vehicles with blind-spot monitoring were 14% less likely than the same models without it to be involved in a crash. Also, the odds of an accident causing injuries were down by 23%.²

The IIHS study also suggested that based on 2015 statistics, 50,000 crashes and nearly 16,000 injuries could have been prevented if all U.S. vehicles were equipped with the feature.²

Types of Advanced Safety Systems in Cars

Modern cars have many camera-, sensor-, and radar-based safety systems. In addition to collision warning, blind-spot detection, and automatic emergency braking, other safety features include cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection, and road sign recognition. Most are generally quite effective.

But every car safety system isn’t perfect. Some drivers have noticed that automatic braking systems trigger when there’s a vehicle in the next lane. Nonetheless, the IIHS has studied the effectiveness of specific safety features in cars and found the following:

  • Forward Collision Warning: A 27% decrease in front-to-rear crashes (crashes with injuries were down 20%); for large trucks, the collision rate was down 44%.
  • Forward Collision Warning with Autobrake: Front-to-rear crashes decreased by 50% (crashes with injuries were down 56%), while large truck crashes declined by 41%.
  • Lane Departure Warning: Single-vehicle, sideswipe, and head-on crashes were down 11% in equipped vehicles, and injury-related crashes were down 21%.
  • Blind-Spot Detection: Lane-change crashes were reduced by 14% (those with injuries were reduced by 23%).
  • Rear Automatic Braking: Combined with the rearview camera and parking sensors, this feature decreased backing crashes by 78%. Rearview cameras alone decreased backing crashes by 17%.
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert: Backing crashes were reduced by 22%.

Do ASAS Features Reduce Repair and Insurance Costs?

An ASAS-equipped car is less likely to be involved in an accident. Claim rates are often lower for them as well. With forward collision warnings, claims for injuries to people in other cars were down 17%, according to the IIHS.

But lower crash rates do not equate to lower repair costs. Aside from vehicle repair costs being higher overall, vehicle safety features are often located on the exterior, where they’re prone to damage. Sensors and other components must often be replaced after a collision; the IIHS found this to increase the average payment per claim by $117.

Advanced safety systems have had a similar effect on auto insurance. While they help prevent accidents and injuries, they also increase the cost of the car and the cost of repairing it. Insurance rates have increased as insurance companies have had to pay more for claims. Predictions of reduced car insurance premiums have yet to materialize.

Are Advanced Safety Systems Worth It?

This is a good question to ask when purchasing a vehicle. The more safety features a car has, the more they add to its sticker price and repair costs. But consider the potential to reduce collisions and injuries. Avoiding the event or aftermath of these can be a worthwhile investment for anyone.

But while safety features in cars reduce accidents, they don’t eliminate crashes and injuries. Negligent drivers still cause far too many accidents. You could still be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Call Jacob Today

Whether your vehicle or the negligent driver’s car had an advanced safety system, you may be entitled to a higher accident settlement than you think. Insurance companies find many ways to reduce or deny claims. Safety features in cars are effective, but won’t prevent major injuries if you’re in a serious car accident. At The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani, we fight for our clients’ legal rights and have won millions of dollars for them. To learn more and schedule your free consultation, call (888) 952-2952 today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/vehicle-safety-features-accidents/ 
  2. https://www.iihs.org/topics/bibliography/ref/2143 

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