Drivers in West Virginia and across the United States may be avoiding collisions and staying safer on the roadways due to automotive warning technologies. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that systems like lane departure warnings or blind spot alerts can play a major role in cutting down the number of car crashes, particularly those that cause injuries. The IIHS study looked at over 5,000 car accidents in 2015 of the type that these systems are intended to prevent.
The study also examined what happened in the case of vehicles that were equipped with the warning systems. The researchers found that sideswipe, head-on and single-vehicle traffic accidents were down by 11 percent when vehicles had the warning systems. Even more importantly for roadway safety, the risk of injury crashes was cut by 21 percent when the warning systems were present. The IIHS estimated that if all vehicles had these technologies in 2015, over 55,000 unnecessary traffic injuries could have been avoided.
Despite the effectiveness of the systems, however, researchers said that the study data indicated that some drivers might be switching off the systems in equipped cars. The IIHS also examined two other 2015 studies related to collision avoidance systems, which examined Volvo cars in Sweden and U.S. commercial trucks. In those studies, the presence of the systems cut the accident rate even more dramatically, by almost 50 percent. The significantly lower reduction in the IIHS study could be attributed to drivers switching off optional systems.
Unfortunately, there's no way to be completely safe from other people's negligent or dangerous driving. Individuals who have been injured in car accidents due to no fault of their own can speak to a personal injury lawyer about pursuing a claim. An attorney can help to advocate for accident victims seeking compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.