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Collision avoidance systems save lives, says IIHS study

A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that collision avoidance systems, such as lane departure warning systems and blind spot alerts, can cut down crash injury rates in Georgia and across the U.S. Researchers came to this conclusion after studying over 5,000 accidents that took place in 2015.

All the cases under analysis involved the types of accidents that collision avoidance systems are designed to prevent. Researchers compared how vehicles equipped with such technology fared with those that were unequipped, discovering that crash rates were 11 percent lower among the former group. Injury accident rates were 21 percent lower.

By giving drivers time to react to a potentially dangerous situation, warning systems can help to prevent everything from single-vehicle crashes to head-on collisions and sideswipes. According to the study, 2015 would have seen 55,000 fewer crash injuries if these systems were installed in every passenger vehicle. That year, there were approximately 6 million vehicle crashes in the U.S.

Despite the benefits, these systems are not being widely incorporated. Only 6 percent of new vehicles in 2017 came with lane departure warning systems, while only 9 percent of vehicles currently in showrooms come with blind spot alerts. The systems are offered as optional add-ons in 57 percent of vehicles, but their prices frequently dissuade buyers.

Without these systems, drivers are more likely to cause car accidents out of negligent behavior such as distracted or drowsy driving. When accidents leave victims with medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and lost time from work, they might find it advisable to have a lawyer's help in seeking adequate compensation for these and other losses.

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