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IIHS study lauds benefits of accident avoidance technology

Mississippi car buyers would be wise to equip their new vehicles with accident avoidance systems according to a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Lane departure and blind spot warning systems are particularly effective at preventing sideswipe crashes and front-end collisions, and the nonprofit organization's study suggests that thousands of traffic accident injuries could be avoided each year in the United States if every vehicle was equipped with them.

To gauge the effectiveness of lane departure and blind spot warning systems in real-world driving situations, IIHS researchers studiedapproximately 5,000 crashes that occurred in 2015. They concluded that the technology reduced the number of such accidents by 11 percent, and they also found that injuries were 21 percent lower among the occupants of vehicles equipped with the systems.

The IIHS study was critical of the steps taken by car makers to encourage their customers to equip their vehicles with the latest safety equipment. While lane departure and blind spot warning systems are available as options on more than half of the cars, pickup trucks and SUVs currently available in the United States, they are fitted as standard equipment less than 10 percent of the time. The study also points out that these safety features are often only available when higher trim levels or costly option packages are selected.

While studies may show that the latest automotive safety technology can prevent motor vehicle accidents and save lives, the IIHS researchers found that many drivers switch these systems off because they find their audible warnings irritating. Experienced personal injury attorneys representing car accident victims could have vehicles inspected to find out if electronic safety features were deactivated prior to a crash, and they may use this evidence to establish negligence and liability.

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