Modern Car Safety Features Reduce Crash Fatalities
Taking to the road in a new car can sometimes feel like piloting a starship as auto manufacturers continue to implement advanced car safety features like lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring, collision alerts, and stability control. Especially if you’re on a budget, it’s tempting to view these high-tech touches as luxuries; sure, they’re nifty, but everyone’s taken driver’s ed., right? Who can’t change lanes or brake properly?
As it turns out, these safety features, which are collectively called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), are much more lifesaver than luxury. They actually have enormous potential to reduce car crash fatalities according to a study published in September 2015 by the Boston Consulting Group and commissioned by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).
About 33,000 people die each year while traveling on U.S. highways, but greater implementation of ADAS could reduce that figure by 10,000 and cut the annual cost of traffic incidents by $250 billion, say the authors of the Boston Consulting Group study.
That conclusion matches up with data published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which reported in 2015 that the chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle fell by more than a third from 2008 to 2011 (the most recent year in which they examined data). In a related study, IIHS researches found that improved structural designs in vehicles and the addition of new safety features were the main source of a continuous decline in fatality risk between 1985 and 2012.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety executive vice president and research chief David Zuby drew a simple conclusion from the reports: “Cars are getting safer,” he said, despite a few recent high-profile auto-safety recalls that may have skewed public perception.
Room for Improvement
Although the data shows that newer model cars with ADAS and other advanced safety features can significantly reduce the risk of a fatal car crash, these innovations haven’t made their way into enough vehicles to reach their full potential in reducing fatal car crashes. Various ADAS features were found in only about 2 to 7 percent of 2015 model vehicles according to the Boston Consulting Group study, up from 1 to 4 percent in 2010.
“There is technology today that can address the issue [of motor vehicle deaths],” said Steve Handschuh, president and CEO of MEMA, at a press conference for the report, “…but adoption is where the challenge is.”
Bill Cook — Your Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Even though a newer-model car with advanced safety features lowers the risk of tragedy for you and your family, accidents can happen no matter what vehicle you drive. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, seek medical attention immediately; then contact the Law Office of William D. Cook for help in evaluating your circumstances and potential case. Call us at (800) 757-7757 or fill out our convenient free case review form.
Fuller, A. & Rogers, C. (2014, December 19). Safety gear helps reduce U.S. traffic deaths. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-auto-related-fatalities-fall-3-1-in-2013-1419014182
Muller, D. (2015, September 29). Car crash fatalities could be reduced by a third with more advanced safety features in cars, study says. MLive.com. Retrieved from http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2015/09/car_crash_fatalities_could_be.html#incart_river_home
Saving lives: Improved vehicle designs bring down death rates. (2015, January 29). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved from http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/50/1/1