Driving technology benefits young drivers the most and may reduce teen crashes, new studies find

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Teen-specific collision avoidance features and vehicle systems could offer great safety benefits for teenage drivers – they have the potential to prevent or mitigate up to three-quarters of fatal crashes. And crash prevention technologies seem to benefit younger drivers more than older ones.

These are the highlights of several new reports released earlier this month by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a non-profit organization funded by the insurance industry, and its affiliate, the Highway Loss Data Institute.

A study examining the safety benefits of collision avoidance technologies, such as head-on collision prevention and lane departure prevention, found that they can help a group of drivers who are particularly prone to collisions: teens .

Researchers in the institute’s study analyzed passenger vehicle collisions involving teenage drivers that occurred on U.S. roads from 2016 to 2019 that involved three collision avoidance functions (front-end collision prevention, front-end collision prevention, Lane Departure Warning / Prevention and Blind Spot Monitoring) and three technologies designed specifically by automakers and software developers to make teens drive safer (real-time alerts that notify parents when their teen is stepping up or down). violates nighttime driving curfews, and reminders to encourage seat belt use.)

They concluded that if the technologies were universally used and fully effective, they could prevent or mitigate 41% of all crashes involving teenage drivers and up to 47% of injuries in teenage drivers and 78% of deaths of teenage drivers.

“We know these technologies don’t stop 100% of the crashes they are designed for, but our analysis shows that the potential benefits for teenage drivers could be quite astonishing if used widely,” Alexandra Mueller, researcher at the Insurance Institute and the lead author of the document, said in a statement.

Teenage drivers are almost 4 times more likely to be in a crash than drivers 20 and over and more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than any age group except the 80’s years and older, the safety group said, due to risk factors that include high rates of speeding. , poor seat belt use and inexperience.

The institute’s analysis showed that speeding contributed to nearly 40% of teenage driver deaths and about one-fifth of teenage driver injuries. About 40% of teenage drivers who were killed were not wearing seat belts.

Many parents may not realize that their own newer vehicles may be equipped with teen-specific technology. Others may deliberately decide not to use them, as some have said they don’t believe the technologies have any security benefits.

The safety group advised teens and parents to research the technologies available when selecting a vehicle and take advantage of teen-specific safety systems, as they offer great potential to help protect young drivers.

“Lack of access and lack of acceptance are two major barriers that prevent these technologies from exploiting their full potential,” Mueller said. “Manufacturers should include these features in more vehicles and do a better job of communicating the benefits to parents and teens. “

Three Highway Loss Data Institute studies based on analysis of insurance data found that young drivers under the age of 25 benefited more from collision avoidance technologies such as frontal collision prevention and exit warning. lane than drivers 25 years of age and over.

To estimate how crash avoidance technologies affected crash rates for drivers of different ages, analysts conducted separate insurance claims studies for Honda, Kia and Subaru vehicles, comparing the vehicles equipped with manufacturer’s accident avoidance packages with identical models not equipped. They used data on insured drivers to classify the results by age.

The analysis showed greater reductions in the frequency of collision and property damage liability claims for the younger driver group.

For more information, click here and here.

Photo caption – Teen-specific collision avoidance features and systems could make young drivers much safer if widely adopted.

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