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IIHS reports drop in injuries with collision avoidance systems

Pennsylvania drivers may be safer with collision avoidance systems on their vehicles, but too few vehicles have these systems according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The organization studied 2015 data on approximately 5,000 accidents to examine the effect these systems had on crash rates and found that accidents involving sideswipes and head-on collisions were 11 percent lower when vehicles had warning systems for lane departures and blind spots. Injury accidents of these types were 21 percent lower.

There were about 6 million motor vehicle accidents in 2015, and the IIHS reports that there could have been more than 55,000 fewer injuries if all vehicles had the collision avoidance systems installed. However, there are some obstacles to a more widespread use of the systems. Only 6 percent of 2017 model year vehicles had lane departure warning systems, and only 9 percent of vehicles had blind spot warning systems.

The systems are available as options for around 57 percent of vehicles, but they can come at considerable cost. Furthermore, there were two other studies using 2015 data, one of Volvos in Sweden and one of trucking fleets in the United States. When those studies found lane collision systems resulting in crash rates being cut in half, researchers began to suspected that some drivers might be turning off the systems because they found warning beeps irritating.

The result of an accident caused by a head-on collision or a side swipe can be catastrophic injuries. When this occurs, compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company may be critical. However, in many cases the offer is insufficient, and thus an injured victim might find it advisable to have legal help in filing a lawsuit against the negligent motorist.

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