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Do today's automobile safety features prevent accidents?

The automobile industry has introduced a wide range of safety features in recent years. How effective are they in preventing collisions?

Consumer Reports asked that question and reported its findings in a recent article. Here are highlights from what they discovered.

Safety features that prevent crashes

Based on Consumer Reports road tests and data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, below are four technologies that "have the ability to help drivers avoid a potential crash," Consumer Reports says. 

  • Forward-collision warning. FCW provides an alert (in the form of sight, sound or touch) that warns drivers of an impending collision with another vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says FCW has resulted in a 27 percent decrease in rear-end crashes for vehicles that have the technology. Among respondents in a Consumer Reports survey, 68 percent of owners said they were "very satisfied with FCW in their vehicles."
  • Automatic-emergency braking. If an AEB system senses a potential collision and the driver doesn’t react in time, the system activates the vehicle's brakes. IIHS says AEB and FCW are associated with a 50 percent reduction in rear-end collisions for vehicles with both features. In the Consumer Reports survey, 69 percent of owners said they were very satisfied with AEB.
  • Lane-departure warning. LDW systems warn drivers when their vehicle crosses lane markings and they haven't turned on their turn signal. If all U.S. passenger vehicles had been equipped with an LDW system in 2015, nearly 85,000 crashes and more than 55,000 injuries would have been prevented, according to IIHS. With Consumer Reports survey respondents, 70 percent said they were very satisfied with LDW.
  • Lane-keeping assist. If a vehicle drifts out of a lane, LKA provides steering or braking that corrects the vehicle. While IIHS has not provided data yet on LKA benefits, 70 percent of owners surveyed by Consumer Reports said they were very satisfied with LKA.

Even with the latest technology, accidents happen. If you have been injured in a motor-vehicle collision, contact an experienced attorney who focuses on accident cases.

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