As motor vehicle technology evolves, safety experts, auto manufacturers and the public come to have a greater understanding of which technologies are essential for safety. In theory, any number of technological advances could potentially help to reduce the annual rate of car accidents in the U.S. However, it is only through observing these technologies in practice that safety professionals and motorists can truly gauge which advancements actually produce the safety results that many of us hope for.
Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety launched a new safety ratings program aimed specifically at preventing frontal motor vehicle crashes. Even though the new ratings program has been operational for less than a year, it is inspiring some intriguing safety discoveries. In addition, the new program seems to have inspired numerous auto manufacturers to strengthen their approaches to frontal crash prevention.
The vice president and chief research officer of the IIHS recently explained that, “We are already seeing improvements from automakers since the initial launch of our ratings last September. BMW and Lexus, for example, have added more braking capability to their systems, which has paid off in higher ratings.” These manufacturers are receiving higher frontal crash safety ratings because they are proactively installing specific technologies proven to prevent crashes.
For years, frontal crash prevention went largely untested by federal regulators and major safety advocate groups. Now that the IIHS is focusing efforts on preventing frontal crashes, technology is advancing and proliferating in ways that are preventing collisions. It seems that not only is particular technology key to preventing accidents, focusing on advancing this kind of technology is key to preventing accidents as well.
Source: Claims Journal, “Front Crash Prevention Systems in Autos Key to Preventing Crashes,” May 29, 2014