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Vehicle collision avoidance systems reduce crashes

Missouri drivers whose vehicles include collision avoidance systems such as alerts for blind spots and drifting into another lane may have fewer accidents than drivers who do not have these systems. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that in 2015, single-vehicle head-on crashes and sideswipes were lower by 11 percent in vehicles that had these systems. For injury crashes of the same type, the rate was 21 percent lower.

In all, there were about 6 million motor vehicle accidents in 2015. The IIHS says that if all vehicles had these collision avoidance systems, there would have been approximately 55,000 fewer injuries. Two other studies done on 2015 data involving Volvos in Sweden and trucking fleets in the United States found that accident rates could go down around 50 percent with warning systems for lane departures.

Unfortunately, some consumers turn off these devices. According to the IIHS, this could be because the systems that beep rather than vibrating the driver's seat could be irritating. The systems are also not yet standard in vehicles. Among 2017 models, warning devices against lane departures were in only 6 percent of vehicles. Only a few more vehicles for sale had blind spot warning systems at 9 percent. More than half of vehicles offer the systems as an option, but they can be expensive.

Car accidents that result from lane departures, blind spot errors and other mistakes by drivers may cause serious injuries to passengers, other drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and others. Injured people may expect their expenses to be covered by the car insurance of the driver who caused the accident. However, if the driver is underinsured or the insurance company only offers minimal compensation, an attorney representing the victim might find it advisable to prepare and file a personal injury lawsuit.

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