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Crash avoidance and driver assistance technologies — are they used?

Reagan, Ian J.; Cicchino, Jessica B.; Kerfoot, Laura B.; Weast, Rebecca A.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
May 2017

Crash avoidance technologies have potential to eliminate collisions, and actual crash reductions have been identified for some systems. This study assessed whether disuse may limit the effectiveness of these technologies, with a focus on lane maintenance systems (i.e., designed to keep vehicles within lanes by warning, braking, and/or steering). Vehicles from nine manufacturers fitted with lane maintenance systems were observed at service departments during 2016. Systems were turned on in 51% of 983 vehicles. Use was higher for systems with braking/steering interventions and vibrating warnings and decreased with total mileage. Large proportions of front crash prevention (93%), blind spot monitoring (99%), rear cross-traffic alert (97%), and driver monitoring alert (90%) systems were enabled, and most optional settings were set to factory defaults. Owner surveys linked to observations showed that drivers who had lane maintenance systems turned off believed warnings were distracting and unnecessary compared with drivers whose systems were on.