Consumer Watch: Collision Avoidance Technology

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 6:58 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Automakers now advertise sophisticated systems that they say can warn you before a crash, or even stop your car in the nick of time.
It sounds great, but how well does it really work? A car safety group says they now have the answers. Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen has today’s Consumer Watch.

Accidents cause thousands in damage, serious injuries and even death. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says high tech systems  in new cars aimed at preventing or mitigating front end crashes are in fact keeping drivers safer.

Its called collision avoidance technology. The Institute tested several to determine if they're effective and worth your money. "We find they help reduce crashes with other vehicles by about 7 percent," David Zuby, the chief research officer at the insurance institute of highway safety, says.

That's just the work of the warning system which alerts drivers a collision is coming. With an automatic  braking system, the Institute says, the effectiveness doubles. The top performers, the Subaru Legacy and Outback , Cadillac ATS and SRX , Mercedes Benz  C Class, and Volvo S60 and XC60.

Without autobrakes damage exceeds 28 thousand dollars, but with autobrakes less than 6 thousand in damage. "We think it is worth the money," Dominick Infante of Subaru of America says.  There are two cameras mounted inside the top rated Subaru Legacy, Infante calls the two cameras a second pair of eyes. “Exactly. Two cameras. It sees the car in front of you slow down as you get closer to it. It starts to bring on the brakes.  And it has the power to bring the car to a complete stop and keep you stopped,” Infante.

The cost of the crash avoidance technologies could be hundreds up to thousands of dollars depending how advanced the system is.
The technology is mostly optional now.  About five to ten percent of new cars are being sold with these systems.
 

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.

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