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Safety technologies reduce car crashes, study shows

Many people in Pennsylvania are excited about the potential of automated safety features to significantly reduce the number of dangerous crashes on the roadway. Automatic emergency braking and other high-level safety technologies have reduced rear-end collisions by 46%, according to a study released by General Motors. Reverse automatic braking reduced the likelihood of back-out collisions by 81% when installed, according to the report. Safety experts said that using these technologies could make for safer roadways for everyone. They also said that the more autonomous technologies were installed on a vehicle, the greater the level of safety improvement.

These technologies, often called advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, are meant to cut down on severe car accidents that lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The study aimed to assess their effectiveness by comparing crash data compiled by police in 10 states. With VIN data from GM, researchers were able to determine which cars had these safety technologies installed and which ones did not and compare those numbers to the overall population of vehicles in the area. They found significant positive results from a number of different technologies. Blind-spot-detection devices were able to reduce collisions by 26% while intelligent headlights decreased nighttime collisions with animals, pedestrians and bikes by 21%.

Forward collision alerts alone slashed rear-end crashes by 21% while a range of technologies provided a significant decrease in backup crashes. The full suite of backup technologies cut down crashes by an astounding 81%, but a rear vision camera alone reduced crashes by more than a fifth.

While safety technologies can reduce the risk of collisions, many crashes are caused by distracted, careless or otherwise negligent drivers. Individuals who are injured in auto accidents that were caused by other parties' negligence can consult with a personal injury lawyer about their options for pursuing compensation for their damages.

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