August 6, 2011

How New Technology Can Make Driving Your Car Safer

New technology has led to dozens of improvements in modern vehicles, including various safety features that greatly reduce the chances of accidents. Innovations in safety technology are important in keeping auto insurance rates low and in keeping drivers and pedestrians safe. There are a few major advancements in safety that have led to low auto insurance rates in the next few years, and as new technology continues to improve vehicle safety, drivers can look forward to a lower chance of serious injuries and fatalities – as well as low-cost insurance policies.

Crash avoidance systems are probably the best examples of new technology designed to keep drivers safe by decreasing the number of accidents due to driver error. Companies like Volvo and Toyota have introduced models with sophisticated digital crash avoidance, which uses a series of sensors to detect when other vehicles or objects are nearby. The vehicle then automatically slows down or veers away from danger. IIHS studies have shown crash avoidance systems to be exceptionally effective at decreasing the number of accidents; with some studies suggesting that vehicles with the systems are 25% less likely to be involved in a front-end collision. Insurance providers usually offer lower auto insurance rates for vehicles with these types of systems, especially when they're paired with other safety features like side curtain airbags.

Car insurance companies are also supporting the use of tracking devices, which reward responsible drivers who follow traffic laws with lower rates. Drivers who speed excessively may not be able to use tracking systems to get discounts, and this simple incentive may make the roads safer in states that allow tracking devices with insurance policy holders' consent. Some lawmakers have questioned the legality of tracking devices, but states like California are seriously looking into expanding tracking discount programs to all drivers to decrease the number of on-road accidents. All tracking devices are currently optional, but they have been shown to decrease the number of accidents while providing a bonus for drivers who stay safe and who can keep a low number of miles per month on their vehicles.

Other types of new technology for safe driving include back-up cameras and sensors, which are standard on many newer vehicles, especially vehicles with low rear visibility. While this type of technology may not be particularly useful in preventing major accidents, it does save drivers money on car insurance claims and lowers the chance of a minor accident due to driver negligence. Every driver should check into the new safety technology available before buying a new vehicle. It's a great way to get peace of mind while keeping auto insurance rates at an affordable level.