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William Maley

Industry News: New Study Shows Collision Warning Systems Are A Mixed Bag

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 5, 2012

The Highway Loss Data Institute, part of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), released a study this week looking into crash avoidance technology. The results are a bit surprising.

The study looked property damage liability (PDL) claims, meaning drivers who had a accident with another vehicle. The study also limited the number of manufacturers in the study to four; Buick, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo.

Unsurprisingly, vehicles equipped with crash avoidance systems saw a decrease in claims as high as 14%. Also, vehicles equipped with adaptive headlamps saw a 10% drop.

The surprise is with the lane departure warning system. The number of claims rose when vehicles were equipped with lane departure. IIHS said “the increases were not statistically significant [and] the results suggest these particular systems aren’t reducing overall crashes.”

No one is quite sure as to why there is an increase when a vehicle is equipped with a lane departure warning system. Matt Moore, vice president of HLDI gave his best guess.

“Lane departure warning may end up saving lives down the road, but so far these particular versions aren’t preventing insurance claims It may be that drivers are getting too many false alarms, which could make them tune out the warnings or turn them off completely. Of course, that doesn’t explain why the systems seem to increase claim rates, but we need to gather more data to see if that’s truly happening.”

Source: New York Times’ Wheels, Autopia

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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"Lane Departure Warning Systems" are really "You forgot to signal, asshole!" buzzers. It took me all of a day to learn to ignore it in the two test vehicles I've driven equipped with such a nanny.

Adaptive headlights have already saved me from and accident at least twice. They allowed me to see around a corner and avoid hitting a deer both times.

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