One of the most valuable assets to come out of our technological renaissance can be found in the active safety systems in newer automobiles. Not only are these safety systems valuable because they prevent injuries and death by reducing accidents, but they’re also valuable in that they can help to reduce both Colorado auto insurance premiums and overall driver expenses.
How Active Safety Systems Help
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2008 showed that forward collision warning systems could potentially prevent 2.3 million crashes in the United States annually. They also found that 143,000 crashes per year could be prevented with adaptive headlights that help drivers see better around corners and 417,000 accidents could be prevented with emergency brake assistance, a system that applies the break for a driver when it senses a forward collision is imminent.
The Possible Downsides
One concern that the Institute’s safety report mentioned was regarding how drivers would adapt to utilizing active safety systems—especially since many drivers weren’t even aware of their existence. In a May 2006 report ordered by the European Commission, researchers found that safety equipment did not play a major part in the sales process as auto sales professionals felt that their customers weren’t necessarily interested in the topic. A 2011 report delivered by European company, eValue, mentions the problem of creating a rating system for active safety technology in order to improve what they describe as the, "low awareness" of car buyers.
If you purchase a vehicle with an active safety system, it's important that you understand how the system works and how you need to interact with it for maximum efficiency. Without truly understanding your system, its notification method may produce anxiety while you drive and you may not fully benefit from the technology.
Retaining the Driver’s Personal Safety System
Even more important, perhaps, is learning to utilize the technology without relying on it completely. In 2011, Wired magazine discussed the occasional failure of active safety systems. In their piece, they mentioned the importance of active driving at all times so that drivers can be prepared to react appropriately to a dangerous situation when their active safety system unexpectedly fails.
Your vehicle’s active safety system is a supplemental product that can help lower your insurance premiums, but it’s not infallible nor is it a miracle cure for bad driving. Learn how to work with it and how to work without it in the event of failure.