New technology can prevent collisions at low speeds

Vehicle Safety Survey 2011A recent study funded by the auto insurance industry has shown that new technology installed into vehicles can make a significant difference in helping to prevent rear-end collisions and fender benders that occur at slow speeds such as in traffic jams.

The research was performed by the Highway Loss Data Institute, the research branch of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It discovered that when a 2010 Volvo XC60 was fitted with a special technology feature called City Safety, which is designed for collision avoidance, the vehicles were much less likely to be involved in a front-to rear crash at low speeds than other similar mid-sized SUVs that were not outfitted with the technology.

Among insurance claims that pay the costs to repair damages made to vehicles that have been involved in a collision from an at-fault driver, there were 27 percent fewer filed for the XC60 with the technology than there were from comparable vehicles. Moreover, the study showed that in the XC60, there were 51 percent fewer bodily injury claims.

For many years, auto manufacturers such as Volvo, have already been making different forms of safety systems for the prevention of collisions at high speeds. However, City Safety is the first one that is geared toward the more common forms of accident, which are those that occur at speeds of 19 miles per hour or slower.

The City Safety technology has been a standard feature in the XC60 model since 2010. It has since been added as standard to the XC70 wagons, the 2012 model S80 sedans and the 2011 and 2011 S60 sedans.

It uses a rearview mirror-height laser sensor built into the windshield to monitor the vehicle ahead, and will brake automatically if the vehicle is moving too quickly toward an object or vehicle, or if the driver doesn’t respond quickly enough when the vehicle ahead slows or stops.

According to the president of the Highway Loss Data Institute, Adrian Lund, “This is our first real-world look at an advanced crash avoidance technology, and the findings are encouraging.”

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