Avoiding Crashes With Hi-Tech Solutions

Last week I was sitting in traffic on New Jersey’s infamous Garden State Parkway. We couldn’t have been going more than 10 or 15 miles per hour, but a couple of cars ahead a vehicle pulled out seemingly unaware of its surrounds and rammed into another car.

Maybe the female driver was distracted by something, maybe she was getting impatient, or maybe there was a mechanical problem with her car. The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately clear, but luckily there were no injuries to the passengers, only damage to the cars.

The incident came to mind as I read about a new study on advanced crash avoidance technology from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

HLDI studied an automatic braking system called City Safety in Volvo midsize SUV’s and found that it prevented about one in four of the common low-speed crashes that happen in everyday commuter traffic.

It found that claims under property damage liability coverage – the insurance that pays for damage to vehicles that an at-fault driver hits – were filed 27 percent less often for the Volvo XC60 than other midsize luxury SUVs.

Adrian Lund, president of the HLDI described the findings as encouraging:

“City Safety is helping XC60 drivers avoid the kinds of front-to-rear, low-speed crashes that frequently happen on congested roads.†

He added:

“The pattern of results strongly indicates that City Safety is preventing low-speed crashes and reducing insurance costs.†

City Safety automatically brakes to avoid a front-to-rear crash in certain low-speed conditions. It uses an infrared laser sensor built into the windshield to monitor the area in front of the SUV when traveling at speeds of about 2 to 19 mph.

Other forward collision warnings systems are designed to address higher speed collisions.

HLDI is working with several automakers to evaluate the loss experience of these and other crash avoidance technologies, as the features make their way into more vehicles.

Other crash avoidance technologies include: lane departure warning and prevention, side view assist, adaptive headlights and fatigue warning.

An article in USA Today has more on this story.

Check out I.I.I. information on auto crashes.

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