A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University found that “driver-assistance” technology provides substantial and widespread benefits. The study, published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, studied the effect of vehicles with three types of safety technology – blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision warning. Vehicles with these safety options are typically equipped with cameras or radars, which can alert drivers to dangerous conditions.
After extrapolating the data on the effect of these advanced safety technologies, the researchers concluded that if every vehicle in the United States came with these safety features installed then the effects would be enormous. There would be 1.6 million fewer crashes each year and 7,200 fewer fatalities caused by car accidents. The boost in safety is not the only benefit, though. Fewer accidents would lead to less money spent on repairing vehicles and healing injuries, saving drivers money. The study estimated that American drivers would save $20 billion each year if every vehicle on the road were equipped with these safety features.
Currently, the cost of these three safety features combined is barely $600. Despite the bargain-basement pricing, these safety features are still not standard on most vehicles sold each year. Costa Samaras, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University and researcher of this study, told CMU that he is hopeful, “The systems we assessed are cheap and getting cheaper.” Given the number of lives and money saved by these vehicle safety features, hopefully automakers choose to install them on more vehicles soon.