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Experiences of model year 2011 Dodge and Jeep owners with collision avoidance and related technologies

Cicchino, Jessica B.; McCartt, Anne T.
Traffic Injury Prevention (TIP)
April 2015

Objective: Crash avoidance technologies have the potential to prevent or mitigate many crashes, but their effectiveness depends on drivers’ acceptance and proper use. Owners of 2011 Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles were interviewed about their experiences with their vehicles’ technologies.
Methods: Interviews were conducted in April 2013 with 215 owners of Dodge and Jeep vehicles with adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning and 215 owners with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection.
Results: Most owners said that they always keep each collision avoidance technology turned on, and more than 90% of owners with each system would want the technology again on their next vehicle. The majority believed that the systems had helped prevent a collision; this ranged from 54% of drivers with forward collision warning to more than three-quarters with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection. Some owners reported behavioral changes with the systems, but overreliance on them is not prevalent. Reported use of the systems varied by the age and gender of the driver and duration of vehicle ownership to a greater degree than in previous surveys of luxury Volvo and Infiniti vehicles with collision avoidance technologies. Notably, drivers aged 40 and younger were most likely to report that forward collision warning had alerted them multiple times and that it had prevented a collision and that they follow the vehicle ahead less closely with adaptive cruise control. Reports of waiting for the alert from forward collision warning before braking were infrequent but increased with duration of ownership. However, these reports could reflect confusion of the system with adaptive cruise control, which alerts drivers when braking is necessary to maintain a preset speed or following distance but a crash is not imminent.
Conclusions: Consistent with previous surveys of luxury vehicle owners with collision avoidance technologies, acceptance and use remains high among owners of more mainstream vehicles. Varying experiences with the technologies by driver age and gender suggest that safety benefits are not uniform for all drivers, and differential benefits may become increasingly apparent as collision avoidance technologies become available to a more heterogeneous population of drivers. The potential for overreliance on the technologies should continue to be monitored, especially as drivers gain more experience with them.