Crash risk reduced by crash avoidance systems, says study

by Cornelius Nunev

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

Significance of safety

Over the past decade, car manufacturers 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 vehicles.

The New York Times explained that drivers who have used any of those systems really like it, and the Department of Transportation has looked at reactions from drivers who used the systems. The report concluded that many people liked them.

Of the respondents to the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program report by the DOT, 92 percent wanted to get the technology into their own automobiles. They agreed that the technology would improve road safety a lot.

Right systems

A large field study, dubbed EuroFOT or European Field Operation Test, has wrapped up its three year research into crash avoidance systems, according to AutoGuide, concluding that overall, the numerous kinds of collision avoidance systems decreased the risk of a crash by 42 percent.

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

The test had a lot of crash avoidance systems in them, such as a fuel efficiency advisory program, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, speed regulation, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, curve speed warning or stability control, and safe navigation systems. The Volvo automobiles had five of the technologies in the test availa-ble, so they were heavily featured in the research. The navigation system is much better because it is less distracting with its heads-up display.

More reason to require sys-tems

A growing number of studies have similarly found several 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 accident dangers within 18 feet of the bumpers at low speed. The HDLI found Volvo's system decreased low-speed accident danger by 27 percent compared to automobiles without a comparable system.

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

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