Study: active safety tech increases collision repair costs

October 31, 2018

A new study from the American Automobile Association (AAA) last week found that vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems such as automatic emergency braking can cost twice as much to repair following a collision than those without the technologies.

Even minor accidents that damage the sensors and cameras in the front, windshield, mirrors, and bumpers can cause repair costs to shoot up by $3,000.

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“Advanced safety systems are much more common today, with many coming as standard equipment, even on base models,” said John Nielsen, AAA managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair in a statement. “It’s critical that drivers understand what technology their vehicle has, how it performs, and how much it could cost to repair should something happen.”

According to the study, nearly one third of Americans are unable to afford an unexpected repair bill of just $500, while the repair bill for a small front or rear end collision for a vehicle with these systems can run as high as $5,300.

AAA also says that windshield damage is most common with more than 14.5 million replacements every year. Many advanced safety systems use cameras mounted behind the windshield that need to be re-calibrated or even repaired when factory glass is replaced, and the right optical quality glass can cost up to $1,500.

Though these systems provide many safety benefits and may help avoid a collision in the first place, the agency urges drivers of vehicles with these technologies to review their insurance policies to account for potential repair costs.

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