IIHS front crash prevention ratings - New results on 74 midsize vehicles - Sept. 2013Enlarge Photo
Insurance claims seven percent lower
Forward collision warning systems—of the kind that will alert you when you need to brake for a hazard ahead, and even brake you to a stop—are establishing quite a record already for saving sheetmetal, injuries, and perhaps even lives.
According to the IIHS, claims are totaling seven percent lower for vehicles that had forward collision warning systems; meanwhile those that have automatic braking are expected to be even lower (that's already showing to be true with Volvo's system). And accident-avoidance systems as a whole could cut fatal fatal crashes by a third.
The new test is in place both to help consumers decide which features to consider, and to push automakers to adopt the technology in more of their vehicles (and to make it more widely available).
“Front crash prevention systems can add a thousand dollars or more to the cost of a new car. Our new ratings let consumers know which systems offer the most promise for the extra expense,” says David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer.
A new Top Safety Pick+ requirement
The IIHS had another surprise announcement: The new front crash protection category will be a qualification for Top Safety Pick+ status for 2014. Vehicles much be available with systems that qualify for one of the three ratings, or they can't make the top cut (which still must include top 'good' ratings for frontal and side impact tests, rear (seat) tests, and the roof-strength test, as well as 'good' or 'acceptable' results in the new small overlap frontal test. And the IIHS is targeting December for a list of those new top-performing models.
Watch the video below to get a better understanding on how the IIHS is testing vehicles in this important new aspect that could help prevent injury as well as costly collision repairs.