The continual advance of technology has generated various types of systems and features that claim to improve the safety of motor vehicles by attempting to reduce the incidence of car accidents. Known as crash avoidance systems, these features can do anything from slow down or automatically stop cars to actually turning or guiding vehicles without a motorist’s intentional action. Some examples of more common crash avoidance systems (or crash avoidance technologies, as they are also known) include (but are not limited to):

  • Lane departure warning systems, which use sensors, cameras or radar to detect when a car may be leaving its designated traffic lane and, when this occurs, automatically steer the car back into its chosen lane
  • Front crash prevention systems, which use radar or cameras to sense when vehicles are vehicles are within a minimal distance of other cars – This systems can generally automatically apply a vehicle’s brakes when they sense that a car is close to crashing into a vehicle in front of it.
  • Blind spot detection systems, which also use sensors or radar to perceive whether there is an object in a car’s blind spot when a driver is trying to turn or change lanes – If something is detected in the blind spot, then an automatic steering action can be put into action to prevent the driver from crashing into the object in his blind spot.
  • Backover prevention systems, which also use sensors, radar and/or cameras to perceive whether there is an object behind a reversing car and, if so, automatically apply the brakes to prevent the vehicle from crashing into the object behind it.

These systems, while alleged to improve vehicle safety, can come at a high price – sometimes adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a car. Given their cost and their purported safety benefits, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted an in-depth study to test how safe these systems really are and which ones are worth the extra money.

How the IIHS Tested Crash Avoidance Systems

To test the safety of various crash avoidance technologies, the IIHS simulated a crash in which a vehicle would slam into the back of a stopped SUV. They did this by creating a large cloth box and propelling the vehicles to be tested into that box. The front crash prevention systems of more than 70 cars were tested in this manner.

Based on the performance of the crash avoidance system, the IIHS gave out the following ratings:

  • Superior – the highest rating, which was given to systems that prevented a collision entirely or were able to slow the vehicle enough to substantially reduce the severity of the crash
  • Advanced – the second highest rating, which was given if the system reduced the impact speed by at least 5 mph
  • Basic – the lowest rating, which was given when the system only had a minimal (if any) effect on preventing the crash or the severity of it.

The IIHS’ Findings: What Systems Are Worth the Expense

According to the IIHS, the following vehicles received a Superior rating:

  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Cadillac ATS and SRX
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Volvo S60 and XC60.

Advanced ratings were given to the following vehicles:

  • Audi A4 and Q5 SUV
  • Acura MDX
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Mazda6
  • Lexus ES.

Both the Toyota Prius V wagon and the Infiniti JX35 were among the vehicles that received a Basic rating.

The bottom line, according to the IIHS, is that safety is worth paying for but that consumers should do their research before believing car makers’ claims about how effective their crash avoidance technologies actually are.


Get in Touch with the Boulder Car Accident Lawyers at Cederberg Law

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident – or if you have lost a loved one in any type of motor vehicle accident, contact the Boulder car accident lawyers at Cederberg Law by calling us at 303-499-0449 or emailing us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.

We have been successful at obtaining results, compensation and justice for people who have been seriously injured in traffic accidents for more than 35 years. Having handled countless cases, our attorneys have a deep understanding of the law, as well as the legal experience you need, and we can fiercely defend your rights in any legal setting. In fact, our trusted car accident attorneys are a formidable force, and we will not back down until you secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, expenses and losses.