Study finds crash avoidance systems reduce crashes

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Car crash

Car crash avoidance systems, according to a recently released study, work pretty well. Photo Credit: FxJ/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

A European field study has taken a look at the performance of crash avoidance systems, like crash detection and adaptive cruise control, finding they work. The study looked at several different types of the technology, finding collision risks were reduced 42 percent overall.

Safety first

Over the past decade, automakers have been including crash avoidance equipment beyond anti-lock brakes and airbags, such as radar and proximity sensors that alert drivers to an impending crash. Until recently, it was mostly confined to luxury cars.

Drivers who have experienced those systems, such as collision warning systems and adaptive cruise control that automatically steers the car away from danger, tend to like it. According to the New York Times, a Department of Transportation study looking at driver’s reactions to cars equipped with the systems over a period of several months, concluded that people liked them.

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The DOT found in its study, the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program, that 92 percent of respondents wanted the technology in their cars and believed they would improve road safety. They are on to something.

Study finds crash avoidance systems work

A large field study, dubbed EuroFOT or European Field Operation Test, has wrapped up it’s three year research into crash avoidance systems, according to AutoGuide, concluding that overall, the various types of collision avoidance systems reduced the risk of a crash by 42 percent.

The study, which involved 28 different organizations including car manufacturers such as Ford, Volvo, BMW and Volkswagen, car parts manufacturers and research organizations, collected data from drivers in 1,000 vehicles in 10 cities across Europe from the beginning of 2009 to 2010, according to the EuroFOT website.

The test utilized several different types of crash avoidance systems, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, speed regulation, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, curve speed warning or stability control as its otherwise known, safe navigation systems and a fuel efficiency advisory program. The safe navigation system uses a heads-up display for satellite navigation, which is less distracting. Volvo vehicles featured heavily in testing, as five of the technologies are available in Volvo cars.

Evidence piling up

A growing numer of studies have similarly found various crash detection and avoidance systems work. According to USA Today, the Highway Loss Data Institute found Volvo XC60 crossovers equipped with Volvo’s City Safety system, which detects crash risks within 18 feet of the bumpers at low speed. The HDLI found Volvo’s system reduced low-speed crash risk by 27 percent compared to vehicles without a comparable system.

However, some might resent the high cost of such technologies. The Department of Transportation also found that most study subjects weren’t willing to pay more than $250 for added safety equipment, despite many safety systems commanding $1,000 or more as optional extras, if not much more as part of an equipment package.



New York Times


USA Today:

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