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Automated safety features: benefits for drivers

General Motors has revealed the benefits of automated safety features in a study that it conducted with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. While the study is about GM vehicles, the results should interest all drivers in Pennsylvania. Advanced driver assistance systems, despite their cost, can reduce the number of crashes, including lane-change crashes, back-up crashes and rear-end collisions.

The effectiveness of different features varies. Crashes arising from a lane departure can be reduced by 20% with lane keep assist and lane departure warning, and lane-change crashes become 26% less likely with lane change alert and blind zone alert. Rear-end crashes go down only 21% with forward collision alert but go down 46% when that system is combined with forward automatic emergency braking.

Rear cross-traffic alert, rear-view cameras and rear park assist can lower the number of back-up crashes by 52%, and if one adds reverse AEB, the percentage becomes an impressive 81%. Lastly, cars with high-intensity discharge headlights see 21% fewer nighttime crashes with pedestrians, bicyclists and animals, and cars with IntelliBeam are 35% less likely to be in such crashes.

The GM study used actual crash data from 10 states and involving 3.8 million vehicles. The results, then, are more accurate than what can be gained through simulations and other testing with ADAS.

Though ADAS can prevent car crashes, it is up to drivers whether they want to engage it. Many find the features annoying. However, drivers will be to blame for any crashes that they cause through their own negligence. Their insurance company will likely face a claim from the other side if personal injuries were incurred. As for those victims, they may want to consult with an attorney before anything else. The attorney may be able to provide third parties to help strengthen the case.

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