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Are the Safety Features on New Vehicles Worth the Money?
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Are the Safety Features on New Vehicles Worth the Money?

The simple answer is “YES”.  Research has shown that many of the safety features has already saved lives.  A recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), compared rates of police reported crashes and insurance claims for vehicles and without technologies.  Here are a few of the results (June 2019):

  • Forward Collision Warning:  
    • 27% decrease in Front-to-rear crashes; 
    • 20% decrease in Front-to-rear crashes with injuries;
  • Forward Collision Warning Plus Autobrake:  
    • 50% decrease in Front-to-rear crashes; 
    • 56% decrease in Front-to-rear crashes with injuries;
  • Lane departure warning:
    • 11% decrease in single vehicle, sideswipe and head on crashes; 
    • 21% decrease in injury crashes of the same type;
  • Blind Side Dectection:
    • 14% decrease in Lane change crashes; 
    • 23% decrease in Lane change crashes with injuries;
  • Rear automatic braking
    • 78% decrease in Backing crashes with rearview mirror and parking sensors

The full study is available at the website of the IIHS/HLDI.  The IIHS is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) share the mission of reducing losses – death, injuries, and property damage – from motor vehicle crashes.   

If you have never heard of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS, it is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization with a mission to reduce losses – death, injuries, and property damage – from motor vehicle crashes. It is the best place to find vehicle ratings – which cars are the safest on the road and I have found their studies both interesting and trustworthy.

However, regardless of the what the research shows, you can have all the safety features on the vehicle, but you have to use them!  Unfortunately, some drivers turn “off” their lane departure warning complaining it is annoying.  Well, yes, it does go off when you change lanes without using your turn signal.  However, it can save your life if you dose off and drift off the road. 

Perhaps the leading safety feature is the back-up camera and all vehicles manufactured after 2013 are required to have a back-up camera as a standard feature.  As more research is done, we will see some of these other features being required.  

So how does one decide what to invest in?  Visit the website:  My car does what?  This wonderful website describes all the types of safety features and explains how they work in a short delightful videos with Rick and his dog Scout.  

Each person, of course, has different needs and access to many of these new advances, but if you can consider as many as you can afford – it may save your life.