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Crash Avoidance Features Benefit Teen Drivers the Most

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【Summary】Drivers under the age of 25 years old have lower frequencies of collisions and property damage liability claims when driving vehicles with advanced crash-avoidance systems.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 20, 2021 8:00 AM PT
Crash Avoidance Features Benefit Teen Drivers the Most

Nowadays, you'll be hard-pressed to find a new vehicle that doesn't come with a few advanced safety features. They're standard on the majority of new vehicles on sale as a way to make all vehicles on the road safer. The majority of automakers offer forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking as standard, while more advanced features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert tend to be optional. While these features are supposed to help all drivers, a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) claims that drivers under 25 years old benefit from the technology the most.

Not All Features Are The Same

To see how advanced safety features affect drivers of different ages, HDLI analysts looked at insurance claims for owners of Honda, Kia, and Subaru vehicles. The organization compared insurance claims from the automaker's vehicles that were equipped with crash avoidance features and those that didn't have the features. While automakers offer different features, all of the vehicles studied came with lane departure warning and forward collision warning. Kia and Subaru's vehicles also came with automatic emergency braking.

Unsurprisingly, Kia and Subaru's vehicles that came with automatic emergency braking were associated with larger reductions in claim frequencies than Honda's cars that didn't have automatic emergency braking. The age trend across all three systems, though, was the same. Claim frequencies dropped for drivers under the age of 25 more than any other age group.

The findings are important, as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that per mile driven, teen drivers are four times as likely to crash as drivers that are 20 years old and older. Teens are also more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than the majority of age groups, besides drivers aged 80 years and older. Why are teens so prone to accidents? The IIHS claims it's because of inexperience, high rates of speeding, and low seat belt use.

Why These Features Are Important For Teens

Past research from the IIHS claims that teenagers are worse than other drivers when it comes to recognizing hazards and controlling the vehicle. Additionally, young drivers are prone to losing focus and are less likely to lower their speed when road conditions and poor and visibility is poor. Compared to other drivers, teenagers are more likely to be involved in rear-end and right-angle crashes.

This data means that crash avoidance technology like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning are particularly helpful for teenagers. Of the three automakers tested, Kia's Drive Wise suite reduced the number of collision claims for all ranges, though drivers under 25 years old saw a reduction by 27 percent. Honda and Subaru were around the 5 percent mark.

While these features are great for all drivers to have, research indicates that drivers can become dependent on the technology and make them worse drivers over time.

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