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Automated technologies reduce car accidents

Many drivers in Minnesota are interested in how the growing slate of technologies aiming to improve roadway safety through automation might enhance their daily commutes. While not yet fully autonomous, vehicles with these technologies point to the potential for self-driving cars. Many drivers wonder how much of an impact the features actually have on reducing car accidents. According to one study released by GM, these technologies can have a significant effect. That effect is magnified when multiple autonomous technologies are combined on one vehicle.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute analyzed police car crash data from 10 states. They were provided with over 3.8 million VINs from GM, corresponding to vehicles produced between 2013 and 2017. By comparing GM's VIN data to that in the police reports, researchers were able to identify which cars had advanced driver assistance systems installed. They were also able to compare those numbers to the total number of equipped and unequipped cars sold.

As a result, they found that some of these technologies had a substantial effect on cutting down the number of motor vehicle accidents. Automatic emergency braking and forward collision alerts combined to cut rear-end accidents by 46%. Lane change alerts and blind-spot warnings cut down lane-changing accidents by over a quarter. Intelligent headlights were able to reduce nighttime crashes with animals, cyclists and pedestrians by 31%. Even more impressively, backing-out accidents were reduced by 81% when reverse automatic braking, rear traffic alerts, rear vision cameras and parking assist technologies were installed.

Safety technologies can help to reduce the number and the severity of car accidents on the roads. However, most motor vehicle collisions are caused by distracted or otherwise negligent driving. People injured in a crash caused by someone else may consult with a personal injury lawyer about options to pursue compensation for their damages.

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