Lane departure and blind spot warnings keep drivers safe, says IIHS

August 24, 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published data from a new report showing that lane departure warning and blind spot warning systems help keep drivers safe on the road. 

That's not an especially bold or surprising statement--in fact, it's probably the opposite. But the study is important insofar as it provides quantitative stats on the ability of those safety systems to prevent crashes, injuries, and deaths. 

The IIHS says that lane departure warning has proven especially adept at the task. The organization's analysis shows that cars equipped with such systems were involved in 18 percent fewer crashes, and the number of crashes involving injuries fell 24 percent.

Perhaps most importantly, lane departure alerts reduced the number of fatal collisions by a whopping 86 percent. 

The IIHS notes that those figures might be significantly higher, but it's difficult to track the effect of lane departure warning systems by themselves because they're usually bundled with other technology. Also, the IIHS says that drivers often disable the systems, and the study only involved vehicles in which the systems were activated.

That said, a previous study in the U.S. involving big rigs found that lane departure warnings cut crashes by nearly 50 percent. A similar study involving Volvo cars in Sweden saw a decline of 53 percent in collisions involving injuries.

Blind spot warnings had a similarly beneficial effect, reducing crashes during lane changes by 14. The number of lane-change collisions involving injuries fell by 23 percent. 

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