New Car Technology: Does it Reduce Car Accidents?

New crash avoidance technology is supposed to reduce car accidents. A recent study by the Highway Loss Data Institute praises some of that technology for its effectiveness and criticizes others.

Some of the technology that has been found effective in the reduction of the number of car accidents is forward collision warning systems and adaptive headlights.

The manufacturers of Acura and Mercedes have equipped some of their models with technology that allows a car to automatically apply the brakes to avoid rear-end collisions. Owners of the cars with this collision warning system reported 14 percent fewer accident claims. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also believes that forward collision warning system can be effective at reducing accidents. Based on research collected from test vehicles, they opined that such warning systems could potentially reduce rear-end crashes by an estimated 15 percent.

Similarly, the manufacturers of Volvo and Mazda equipped their cars with adaptive headlights. These adaptive headlights shine light around corners to allow drivers the ability to see better when taking turns. Owners of cars with this technology reported approximately 10 percent fewer property damage claims than owners of similar cars without the feature.

Not all new car technology is effective at reducing car accidents. The study found that cars equipped with lane departure warning technology had higher rates of property damage claims than those cars that did not have the technology. Lane departure technology attempts to automatically turn a veering car back into its lane.

Those that are injured in a car accident may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. A skilled personal injury attorney may determine whether the technology was defective or the driver was negligent. Contact an attorney in your area to learn about your rights if you have been injured in an accident.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Study Casts Doubt on Certain Crash-Aviodance Systems,” Joseph B. White, July 3, 2012