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Study examines crash avoidance technologies

In an attempt to try and prevent accidents, a number of auto manufacturers have started to put crash avoidance technologies in vehicles. In the beginning these technologies were in more luxury vehicles, but now the systems are starting to be introduced into mainstream vehicles. However, while some technologies appear to be reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents and personal injury claims, others do not seem to be having much of an impact.

A study was conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute that looked at insurance claims that were connected to these technologies. From there it was found that some technologies are working better than others.

For example, when it comes to adaptive headlights, which are headlights that shift with steering, there was as much as a 10 percent decrease in property damage claims. According to the study, the data for personal injury claims did vary, but in most cases there was a significant decrease.

Another promising technology was the forward collision avoidance systems. These systems warn drivers as they are approaching an object that could result in an accident. In some systems, if the driver continues toward the object, the brakes automatically engage.

However, when it comes to lane departure systems, which alert a driver to drifting, it seems that there has actually been an increase in claims. The institute said it will need to look into what is causing the increase.

The study also listed other crash avoidance technologies, but no statistical data was provided. These types of technologies include cross traffic alerts and fatigue warnings, which work by tracking motorist's driving behaviors.

Looking to the future, the thought is that as these technologies continue to be around, the Highway Loss Data Institute will continue to track crash data to be able to determine just how helpful -- or hurtful -- these systems really are.

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