Cars built today are safe, but crashes and sometimes fatal crashes still happen. That’s where safety technology comes into play.
We are big proponents of increasingly available technology like Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Monitoring, two technologies designed to prevent crashes and save lives. The good news is that according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety both of these technologies are working.
Lane Departure Warning is designed to keep drivers from drifting into another lane and prevent head-on collisions. Blind Spot Monitoring helps avoid side swiping accidents. IIHS researchers say both technologies are preventing the types of the types of crashes they were designed to address.
Researchers source police-reports of vehicle accidents from 2015.
The study finds that cars with the Lane Departure Warning tech could effectively prevent one in four fatal crashes happening from lane drift. However, all vehicles must have it and have it working for those numbers. It effectively lowers rates of single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on crashes of all severities by 11 percent and lowers the rates of injury crashes of the same types by 21 percent. Researchers estimate that if every vehicle had Lane Departure Warning, 85,000 crashes and 55,000 injuries wouldn’t have happened in 2015.
Blind Spot technology cuts side merging accidents by 14% and injuries by 23%. It also tends to be one of the more popular safety technologies, with simple small lights on side mirrors making it easier to know when someone is in your over-the-shoulder-check blind spot.
Unfortunately, both technologies are a long way from being on every vehicle on the road.
Of 2017 year models, only 6% of new vehicle sales included Lane Departure as a standard safety feature. Blind Spot Monitoring came standard on 9%. It’s available on more models but at a higher price point trim or add-on.