Study finds forward-crash avoidance systems are effective

Anyone who has spent time driving in New York City knows that stop-and-go traffic is a common occurrence. In such situations, all it takes is a small distraction that takes your eyes off the road for a few moments for a crash to occur. Luckily, researchers are constantly coming up with new and improved technology to prevent such collisions on the road.

According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cars that are equipped with forward-collision avoidance systems that include autonomous braking are likely involved in fewer accidents than cars without such technology. The conclusions were based on the number of insurance claims filed by individuals with certain types of Volvos, some of which came equipped with such technology and others that did not.

Volvo uses technology called “City Safety,” which is designed to detect when a vehicle is approaching one in front of it too rapidly. In such situations, City Safety automatically applies the brakes, preventing the possibility of a motor vehicle accident. The technology is meant for slow-moving traffic – common on New York City streets – as it works only at speeds of up to 19 miles per hour.

The researchers determined that individuals driving Volvos equipped with City Safety filed around 15 percent fewer claims for property damage. In addition, they filed between 18 to 33 percent fewer claims for liability for personal injuries.

Currently, only around 29 percent of available motor vehicles have forward-collision avoidance systems as an option. In addition, only 12 percent of vehicles come equipped with autonomous braking.

Source: Consumer Reports, “Study reveals which car crash avoidance technology can be a proven lifesaver,” April 29, 2013.