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Crash warning and prevention systems seem to reduce accidents

Americans who are buying new cars are finding all sorts of available safety options designed to detect obstacles, warn the driver, and in some cases, take action on their own to try to prevent crashes.

Lane departure prevention systems automatically correct a car's path if the system detects the vehicle is wandering out of its lane. Some vehicles have a warning system that alerts drivers if the car moves out of its lane but doesn't take steering action on its own.

Forward collision prevention systems automatically apply the vehicle's brakes if they detect something ahead that the driver doesn't appear to be responding to. Collision warning systems will alert the driver of an obstacle ahead and prepare the brakes to stop, but won't actually cause the car to brake.

Blind spot intervention systems prevent cars from being maneuvered into an occupied area, such as the next lane where there's another vehicle the driver might not see. Blind spot monitoring systems will simply alert drivers if they put on their turn signal to move in the direction of an occupied space.

These systems and others, such as adaptive headlights, help reduce crashes, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). An HLDI study found that owners of cars with active braking and collision warning systems were less likely to file property damage insurance claims.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which regularly names the safest vehicles consumers can buy, places vehicles with the front crash prevention system options among its Top Safety Picks. In an IIHS survey of drivers who have cars with crash prevention systems, anywhere from 20 percent to half of drivers (depending on the type of vehicle they own) reported that their system was responsible for helping them avoid getting into a crash.

Of course, these systems can also give some drivers a false sense of security. They can even cause some to relax and not be as aware of their surroundings as they should be because they count on their car to warn them or even act to avert a crash.

If you are involved in a crash that was caused by another driver, even if that driver blames a malfunction of his or her safety system, you may well be able to hold that driver responsible. An experienced Louisville car accident attorney can offer valuable guidance.

Source: Carintelligent, "Should your next car have a crash prevention system?," accessed March 21, 2018

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