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Could collision avoidance systems save your life?

Just about everyone here in Southern California uses technology on a daily basis. The advances in cell phones alone have changed the world. Now, automakers are finally taking advantage of technological advances to help keep you safer on the roads.

Collision avoidance systems are gaining popularity in the auto industry, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says they are working. If you are wondering what these systems even do, this article briefly discusses their utility.

The basics of collision avoidance systems

Lasers, cameras and radars help the vehicle sense pedestrians, vehicles and other obstacles that could be in your path. The system then warns you with lights, noise and, in some cases, a vibrating steering wheel. In some systems, if you fail to respond to the warning, the vehicle even steers the vehicle or applies the brakes for you. The most common of these systems include the following:

  • Rear cameras and parking assist
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning and assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring and assist

The IIHS says these systems have lowered the number of certain types of accidents when vehicles involved in them had collision avoidance systems. It went to far as to say that if all vehicles had these systems, about 55,000 injuries would never have occurred during the year they surveyed. Due to the success of those above, other crash avoidance systems are gaining traction:

  • Automatic park assist
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Drowsiness detection

For years now, manufacturers have added technology to vehicles that actually increases the risk of collision such as GPS and infotainment systems. It's encouraging to see them now adding in technology designed to help get you to your destination safely.

Are they foolproof?

Sadly, collision avoidance systems are not foolproof. They can lull drivers into a false sense of security, and they cannot control other drivers. Still, a life saved is a life saved.

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