Advanced safety technology is proving to be worth the investment. A new study conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation and eight automakers found that rear-end crashes have nearly cut in half thanks to useful driver assistance features.
The government-automaker study, which took place from January 2016 through August 2021, reaffirmed the effectiveness of popular safety technologies, both in the prevention of accidents and the severity of injuries resulting from a collision.
The findings showed that the number of serious injuries had decreased significantly, further substantiating the value in upgrading or seeking out advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in a new car purchase.
If you find yourself asking the question, “Is automatic emergency braking (AEB) worth the added cost?”. The answer is most definitely yes.
In this feature, we’ll detail the most shocking revelations from the largest government-automaker study to date as well as how to decide what advanced driver assistance systems are most effective.
Rear-end crashes reduced by 49% compared to vehicles without safety technology
Safety advancements like forward-collision warnings (FCW), lane keeping assist (LKA) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) are making a noteworthy impact on passenger safety in recent times. The results from the government-automaker study further prove there is a real-world effectiveness in advanced driver assistance systems in your vehicle.
The data showed that vehicles equipped with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking were able to curtail rear-end crashes by 49% in comparison to vehicles without driver-assist technology. Other evidence suggested there were 42% fewer damaging collisions in vehicles with FCW and AEB.
All around, these safety technologies have proven to dispel any nonbelievers. Advanced driver assistance systems are gearing up to change passenger safety from here on out and will continue to improve the safety of roadways in the years to come.
How FCW and AEB compare
When evaluating the two technologies, the study concluded that automatic emergency braking was the most effective in preventing crashes. In vehicles with only forward-collision warning available, rear-end collisions reduced as little as 16%.
While integrating both FCW and AEB into your new car purchase offers the greatest protection, automatic emergency braking has the upper hand in anticipating an impending crash, many times before the driver is even aware. Some could say, the power of AEB is its ability to predict human error ahead of time.
AEB technology has also proven to withstand varying degrees of traffic conditions. That means, inclement weather and poor lighting ultimately do not have an impact on the effectiveness of this advanced driver assistance feature. As a driver, it gives you that added peace of mind.
Overall, the latest government-automaker study has shown the value of safety technology, but, unfortunately, there are downsides.
Setbacks to ADAS
Even though the recent study confirms the effectiveness of automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning, it’s not without its own setbacks. To begin with, price is a huge concern. The inclusion of advanced driver assistance systems is driving up the cost of new cars in an already inflated market.
If drivers want the luxury of certain safety technologies, they often have to pay the price and upgrade to a higher trim level. In some cases, AEB will come standard but other sought-after features will come at an extra cost. All in all, the best case scenario is when automakers bundle two or three safety technologies together so drivers get the best bang for their buck.
Another obstacle that’s come about in recent years is driver dependency. While these safety features are designed to keep drivers, passengers, and other vehicles on the road better protected from collisions, there is still concern for an over reliance on ADAS as a whole.
Do drivers pay attention as much if their vehicles can do the work for them? That question racks the brains of many safety experts who advocate for better driving practices among teens and adults across the nation.
These setbacks do not supersede the value of FCW or AEB, but they do call forth a doubtful advantage for some drivers and in some instances.
To sum it up, rear-end crashes are officially declining in vehicles equipped with ADAS. At the same time, until automakers can make a majority of these safety features standard, it’s hard to say how quickly crash statistics will improve as a while. Currently, FCW and AEB continue to be useful driver assist technologies that are worth the price and should be considered in your next car purchase.
To learn more about driver-assistance systems, read our article, Is Lane Keep Assist a Threat to Cyclists?