Perspective Newsletter
Spring 2015
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New crash-avoidance technology really works

IIHS crash-avoidance test

‚ÄčEvidence is mounting that front crash-avoidance technology not only works on the test track, it's cutting crashes in real life. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) reveals that whether cars brake automatically or warn drivers to do it when sensors detect an impending front collision, cars equipped with crash-avoidance technology log fewer claims for damage and injury.

The recent studies looked at 2015 model-year systems by three manufacturers (Volvo, Honda, and Subaru) and showed varying degrees of benefit. Compared to similar vehicles without the technology, property damage liability claims (that is, damage to other vehicles) dropped 12-16%, and bodily injury liability claims (injuries to people in other vehicles) dipped an impressive 27-39%, mostly owing to fewer cases of whiplash, a common injury when a car is struck from the rear by another vehicle.

Among the 784 models in HLDI's 2015 vehicle-features database, more than half offer forward-collision warnings. Twenty-seven percent also offer autobrake. Check out this Aug. 26, 2015, IIHS-HLDI Status Report for details on specific models.