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Driving safely with automated vehicle technology

Most 2020 model cars now have high-tech driver assistance features either as standard or as an available option. These systems, such as lane change assistance, collision avoidance and drowsy driving detection, strive to make the experience on the road safer for everyone. 

Review the data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to understand how well common driver assistance features actually work. 

Front crash prevention 

The IIHS reports that the rate of rear-end collisions goes down by 27% when cars have a forward-collision warning system. This tech alerts drivers when they are in danger of rear-ending someone. When combined with automatic braking, which actually stops a potential rear-end accident when the driver does not stop, even fewer accidents occur. Crashes involving injury are also much less common with these systems. 

Blind spot detection 

With this technology, sensors on either side of the vehicle detect other cars in the driver’s blind spots. The vehicle will produce an audio or visual alert for the driver. Some cars also automatically brake to prevent a lane-change collision. The IIHS notes that blind spot detection systems reduce this type of accident by about 14% and have decreased the number of insurance claims involving lane-change collisions. 

Currently, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration recommends forward-collision warning, a rearview camera, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking as safe and effective. They do not apply this same recommendation to other types of driver assistance tech, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot detection, citing the need for more data on these features.