Some New Car Driver Assist Features Are Shown to forestall Crashes, Others Not most

Most new vehicles sold today either include or offer optional driver-assist safety features that are engineered to scale back collisions and, in turn, injuries and fatalities. But are they working?

The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) recently looked into nearly six million insured vehicle years worth of insurance claims on four BMW vehicles from the 2013-2017 model years equipped with crash avoidance technologies to see the extent to which they're effective. The IIHS checked out claim data under collision (damage to the insured driver’s vehicle), property damage (damage to a different vehicle), and injury liability coverage (injuries to others caused by the driver).

HLDI analysts compared claims data regarding four BMW driver-assist system packages that included two or more of the following: forward collision warning, adaptive controller, lane departure warning, front cross-traffic alert, and lane centering. The Institute determined that a mix of frontal crash prevention and adaptive controller proved to cut back the frequency of property damage liability and bodily injury liability claims considerably.

However, the addition of the center lane, included in the BMW package to assist in semi-autonomous driving, had little impact on the claims. The presence of front collision warning and departure warning systems without automatic braking in emergency situations has slightly increased claims.

Matt Moore, HLDI Vice President, says: “The BMW Driver Assistance Pack Failure Claims are the largest we have seen from advanced driver assistance systems, indicating that collision avoidance may provide greater benefits as technology improves.” Centering the lane that comes in the "plus" package does not seem to increase these benefits. This may be because the system is intended for use only on highways, is relatively safer than other roads, and only works when the driver switches on.

Specifically, HLDI found that bundling forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking reduced the frequency of collision claims by five percent, with an 11 percent call property damage claims, and a 16 percent reduction within the frequency of bodily injury claims.

BMW’s Driving Assistance package, which has upgraded versions of these features and adds adaptive control, resolve to chop collision claim rates by a not particularly significant six percent, but reduced property damage claims by 27 percent, and bodily injury claim rates by 37 percent. Adding a lane-centering feature and front cross-traffic tuned in to the package was found to not offer any significant reduction in claims frequency.

Of note, BMW’s most elementary driver assist package offered on the model years studied, which pairs forward collision and lane departure warning systems, but without automatic emergency braking, was liable for a two percent increase within the frequency of collision claims, a five percent boost in property damage claims, and an 11 percent jump in bodily injury claims. HLDI says these results don't seem to be statistically significant, however, and that they contradicted the Institute’s previous studies of comparable systems from other automakers.

In earlier reports posted by HLDI’s related entity, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), forward collision warning/auto-braking systems were predicted to cut back the amount of front-to-rear crashes by 50 percent, and forestall injuries when such collisions are unavoidable by 56 percent. Lane departure warning was expected to cut back the occurrence of single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on crash by 11 percent.

Though it didn’t post specific predictive data regarding lane-centering technology, the IIHS found the system’s overall performance to vary by model, with some behaving erratically in certain situations. Traversing hills will be a challenge as an LDK system would be unable to read the markers on the opposite side of the crest and can either become “confused” and drift, or will disengage. The IIHS reports some systems can have a controversy keeping the car centered in an exceeding lane through sharper curves.

While HLDI’s study shows that choosing a vehicle that comes with advanced driver assistance systems can indeed help motorists avoid crashes, don’t expect to have them to save lots of money on your auto insurance premiums. Insurers aren’t offering discounts for adding the newest high-tech safety features, as they need within the past for cars with airbags and antilock brakes. That’s large because the requisite sensors and cameras embedded into a vehicle’s bumpers are expensive to switch if the car is wrecked. While repairing a smashed bumper on a typical car can run from $300 to $700, a damaged bumper that’s fitted with safety-system sensors can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 to fix.