Some Crash Avoidance Technologies Actually Increase Number of Personal Injury Claims
In an attempt to try and prevent accidents, a number of auto manufacturers have started to put fancy new crash avoidance technologies in vehicles. Early on these new technologies were only in luxury vehicles, but now the systems are starting to be introduced into mainstream vehicles. However, while some technologies appear to be reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents on Mississippi roadways, others don’t seem to have had much of an impact at all.
CNN, a study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute that looked at insurance
claims that were connected to these technologies found that some are working
better than others. For example, when it comes to adaptive headlights,
which are headlights that shift while steering, there was as much as a
10% decrease in property damage claims. According to the study, the data
for personal injury claims also showed a significant decrease. Adaptive
headlights on Acura, Mazda, Mercedes, and Volvo vehicles performed better
than expected, and were found to reduce collisions by as much as 10 percent,
significant considering only about 7 percent of police-reported crashes
occur from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and involve more than one vehicle.
Another promising technology was the forward collision avoidance systems. These systems warn drivers as they are approaching an object that could result in an accident. In some systems, if the driver continues toward the object, the brakes automatically engage. The HLDI found that the technology reduced the frequency of collisions, especially if the vehicle was equipped with auto braking. Acura and Mercedes vehicles equipped with auto braking systems were 14 percent less likely to get into accidents.
The less than impressive safety systems include the lane departure systems, which alert a driver to drifting. The data shows that there has actually been an increase in claims as a result of its introduction. The HLDI found that lane departure systems, particularly on Buick and Mercedes vehicles, caused more accidents than they prevented, though not in a statistically significant way. The Institute has said it will need to look into what is accounting for the increase.