Many new vehicles offer advanced crash avoidance features. The systems started out as options on a few luxury models and have steadily spread to more of the fleet. Advanced technologies assist the driver with warnings or automatic braking to help avoid or mitigate a crash. These include front crash prevention, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, adaptive headlights 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.

Front crash prevention and adaptive headlights are reducing insurance claims. HLDI found fewer claims under property damage liability coverage, which pays for damage to vehicles that an at-fault driver hits, for models with forward collision warning with automatic braking than for the same vehicles that weren’t equipped with the technology. Adaptive headlights also are reducing property damage liability claims. So far, HLDI hasn’t been able to quantify the real-world effects of other advanced crash avoidance systems.

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.