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Summer 2011 | Vol. 13 | No. 2
Collision Avoidance System Proven Effective
The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) – the insurance research arm of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – recently released research evidence that the Volvo XC60’s City Safety advanced collision avoidance system has been successful in reducing low-speed crashes. Study results indicate that crash prevention technology holds a great deal of promise.
In this first look at the effects of crash avoidance technology using real-world data, HDLI analysts studied insurance claims data from 80 percent of U.S. crashes. They compared claims data for the 2010 XC60 midsize SUVs equipped with the City Safety crash avoidance technology with other 2009-10 midsize luxury SUVs and other 2009-10 Volvo models, controlling for a variety of geographic and demographic factors that can affect claims.
City Safety has been standard on XC60s since the 2010 model year. It was engineered to prevent or reduce the severity of rear-end crashes in typical low-speed, stop-and-go commuter traffic. An infrared laser sensor embedded in the windshield monitors the area in front of the SUV at speeds of about 2 to 19 mph and can detect other vehicles within 18 feet of the front bumper. When necessary, the system will automatically apply the brake to avoid or reduce the severity of a front-to-rear crash. It does not alert the driver before it engages and brakes.
Researchers found that the Volvo XC60s were involved in far fewer low-speed crashes than similar vehicles without the system. Claim frequency rates for the XC60 were lower than all other midsize luxury SUVs combined, as well as other Volvos, for all three types of insurance coverage examined: property damage liability, bodily injury liability, and collision. In fact, XC60 owners filed property damage liability claims 27 percent less often than owners of other midsize luxury SUVs.
IIHS president Adrian Lund remarked: “The pattern of results strongly indicates that City Safety is preventing low-speed crashes and reducing insurance costs.”
While City Safety is not designed to work at speed greater than 19 mph, Volvo and other vehicle manufacturers also have optional forward collision warning systems designed to help prevent higherspeed crashes. HLDI will continue to assess the effects that these and other crash avoidance technologies have on insurance loss claims.
Learn more at www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr071911.html.