Are Vehicle Safety Features Actually Reducing Car Accidents?

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Car accident statistics

According to car accident statistics, an average of six million car accidents occur in the U.S. each year. Those same car accident statistics show 90 people die in car accidents every single day. That’s a lot of lost lives at the hands of drivers and their vehicles. But do the new vehicle safety features actually help drivers stay safer on the roads? Here we look at car accident statistics, new vehicle safety features and whether or not they help you become a better driver.

New Vehicle Safety Features

There are more and more new vehicle safety features reaching the car market every year. Some of the most common new vehicle safety features include:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blindspot detection
  • Collision warning
  • Cross-traffic alert
  • Forward and rear collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Pedestrian detection system
  • Road sign recognition

While car accident statistics and lawyers know alcohol is a leading cause of car accidents, there are many driving issues that can benefit from these new vehicle safety features.

Autonomous vs Semi-Autonomous

Autonomous technology provides features that require zero input or assistance from the driver. An example of this would be auto-parking. Semi-autonomous cars require the driver to work with the technology and tend to be new vehicle safety features. While some human direction is required, this feature allows the car’s technology to assist in putting the car in the parking spot.

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Society of Automotive Engineers, autonomous features provide different levels of autonomous vehicle technology. They grade these features and the cars based on the vehicle’s autonomy and how much input is required by the driver. But can these features really help reduce numbers in car accident statistics?

Benefits of New Vehicle Safety Features

According to car accident statistics and new vehicle safety feature studies, the new systems can help prevent crashes. J.D. Power reports that within the first 90 days of driving a car with new vehicle safety features owners contributed to interesting car accident statistics including:

  • The blind spot alert helped them avoid a crash (49%) according to car accident statistics
  • The backup cameras and parking sensors prevented accidents (42%) according to car accident statistics
  • The forward collision alert or automatic braking prevented potential crashes (35%) according to car accident statistics

With such impressive car accident statistics, new vehicle safety features, also known as Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) have become more popular as a result.

New Vehicle Safety Features and the Global Market

The new vehicle safety features found in ADAS are seeing global market increases with expectations for growth projected to reach $83 billion by 2030. That represents an annual growth rate of 12% expected for cars with new vehicle safety features. This should make an impact on car accident statistics.

Distracted Driver Car Accident Statistics

Some sobering car accident statistics show how dangerous driver behavior can be. Distracted driving is cause to call a lawyer as penalties become steeper. It also contributes to alarming accident stats including:

  • Nine pedestrians are killed by distracted drivers each day according to car accident statistics
  • 1 in 5 crashes involve distracted drivers according to car accident statistics
  • 1060 people are injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers according to car accident statistics

Safety features such as simply beeping to warn of objects in the road can reduce the numbers shown in car accident statistics. For example, even older features such as seat belt warnings reminding people to put on their seat belts can help. Seatbelts reduce injury risk by 50% and death risk by 45% according to car accident statistics. This also reduces the money invested in hiring a lawyer to settle car accident lawsuits.

Driving Experience with New Vehicle Safety Features

Many new vehicle safety features can make driving safer according to some car accident statistics. According to LexisNexis car accident statistics, there was a 27% reduction in bodily injury claim frequency and a 19% reduction in property damage frequency thanks to new vehicle safety features. Lawyers are often required to settle these claims. Vehicles with ADAS systems assist in simple maneuvers such as parking, but can also detect collision risks and beep as a warning. This can pull drivers back to focusing on the road should they be distracted, helping them avoid accidents and the need to hire a lawyer.

Are New Vehicle Safety Features Safer?

Many car accident statistic studies point to new vehicle safety features actually making driving safer. For example, according to car accident statistics regarding blind spots, there were 14% less accidents in cars with new vehicle safety features than car models that don’t have the new features. The same car accident statistics study also found that should every vehicle have blind-spot monitoring, there could have been as many as 50,000 crashes and 16,000 crash-related injuries avoided in 2015. Carnegie Mellon University found new vehicle safety features designed for crash avoidance reduce the frequency of car accidents by as much as 3.5%. The study showed cost savings of up to $264 billion.

A Breakdown of New Vehicle Safety Prevention Results

According to car accident statistics, new vehicle safety prevention features help prevent accidents as follows:

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Forward Collision Prevention:

  • Front to rear crashes reduced by 50%
  • Front to rear crashes with injuries reduced by 56%
  • Claim rates for damage to other vehicles reduced by 13%
  • Claim rates for injuries to people in other vehicles reduced by 23%

Single vehicle sideswipe and head on crashes reduced by 11%

Injury crashes of the same type down 21%

Blind Spot Detection

  • Lane change crashes down 14%
  • Lane change crashes with injuries down 23%
  • Claim rates for damage to other vehicles down 7%
  • Claim rates for injuries to people in other vehicles down 8%

However, where the car accident statistics really show improvements is in Backing Collision Avoidance. For example, backing crashes when combined with a rearview camera and parking sensors decreased by 78%. Claim rates for damage caused to other vehicles went down by 30% and 12% for claims related to damage to the insured vehicle.

Despite the positives, autonomous features can lead to lawsuits and the need for lawyers when crashes occur. For example, in December 2017, motorcyclist Oscar Nilsson hired a lawyer to sue GM for negligence due to injuries caused by a self-driving GM Cruise. According to Nilsson and his lawyer, the vehicle “suddenly veered back” into his lane. The car tried to merge in heavy traffic while a vehicle in the lane decelerated. Nilsson and his lawyer allege this caused the self-driving car to stop and go back to its original lane, resulting in the accident. Although police found Nilsson at fault, according to his lawyer, Nilsson was not issued a citation.

While ADAS does seem to decrease accidents, if you find yourself in a car accident, a lawyer can help.


Quick Answers

What is the Difference Between Autonomous Vs. Semi-Autonomous Safety Features?

Autonomous technology provides features that require zero input or assistance from the driver. An example of this would be auto-parking. Semi-autonomous cars require the driver to work with the technology and tend to be new vehicle safety features. While some human direction is required, this feature allows the car’s technology to assist in putting the car in the parking spot.

What are the New Safety Features?

-Adaptive cruise control
-Automatic emergency braking
-Blindspot detection
-Collision warning
-Cross-traffic alert
-Forward and rear collision warning
-Lane departure warning
-Pedestrian detection system
-Road sign recognition

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