Driverless cars still are far from reality. More vehicles are incorporating a degree of automation with such technologies as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping support, but the driver will continue to share driving responsibilities for the foreseeable future. In theory, fully automated driving could eliminate the vast majority of crashes, but that level of automation is still in the distant future.    

Advanced crash avoidance features already are here. In addition to automation, advanced technologies include warnings or assistance such as automatic braking to help avoid or mitigate a crash. These include front crash prevention, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and park assist and backover prevention. Advances also are being made in intelligent transportation systems that allow vehicles to communicate with one another or with road infrastructure to help avoid crashes.

Some crash avoidance features are reducing crashes. Vehicles equipped with front crash prevention are less likely to rear-end and cause injury in other vehicles, IIHS research has shown. Lane departure warning, blind spot detection and rearview cameras also have reduced police-reported crashes relevant to those technologies.

Electronic stability control is an older — and proven — crash avoidance feature. Standard on 2012 and later models, ESC is an extension of antilock brake technology that helps drivers maintain control of their vehicles on curves and slippery roads. ESC lowers the risk of a fatal single-vehicle crash by about half and the risk of a fatal rollover by as much as 80 percent.


Front crash prevention tests

Crash avoidance features by make and model

Electronic stability control by make and model

Motorcycle antilocks

Information on antilock brakes for motorcycles is available in the motorcycle topic area.