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Safety systems reduce car accident risk

Many people in California are excited by the automated safety features being introduced to the car market. These features may be part of fully autonomous, self-driving cars in the future. For now, these technologies aim to make the roadway safer by giving drivers a slate of automated tools to help them avoid serious car accidents. Taken together, automated safety features are known as automated driver assistance systems, or ADAS. According to one study released by GM, research shows that the presence of these devices can substantially lower the risk of certain types of collisions.

For example, when rear vision cameras are installed, back-up accidents are reduced by 21%. They decline by 38% when rear parking assist technologies are present. When even more automation is introduced, the picture becomes even better. Car accidents caused when one car backs up decline by 81% when cars are equipped with automatic reverse braking and rear traffic alerts in addition to the parking cameras and assistance.

Backing-up accidents aren't the only collisions affected by these safety devices; rear-end collisions decreased by 46% when automatic emergency braking and forward collision alerts are turned on in a vehicle, and intelligent headlights cut nighttime crashes with pedestrians and animals by 35%.

The researchers examined accident records across 10 states. Using this police data, they compared over 3.8 million VINs supplied by GM for cars produced between 2013 and 2017. The researchers identified which cars were equipped with these features and compared the crash data to overall car populations to determine the effects of the technology.

Safety technologies can reduce the risk of motor vehicle collisions, but many crashes are caused by drunk, distracted or otherwise negligent drivers. People injured in a crash due to someone else's negligence may work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their damages.