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The rise and importance of collision-avoidance systems

Many New York drivers have been given the opportunity to purchase a vehicle that is equipped with new safety technology. This is because more automakers are offering it as a feature in some of their car models. Third party reviews of these collision-avoidance systems show what technology is available, and why there is an effort to start moving one kind from optional to mandatory.

Consumer Reports provides a list of safety systems that are currently being used. This includes radars, cameras and lasers that assist with backing up, parking, lane deviation, expanded headlight reach, blind spots, steering and collision avoidance. Some systems are older and more developed than others, but the general opinion is that they may be a great strategy in preventing car crashes. In some instances, the devices are not easily accessible to consumers due to cost and scarcity; however, one feature that will soon become mandatory and widely available is the rearview camera system.

The effectiveness of these rearview camera systems was measured in an empirical review done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS estimates that approximately one in six reported backing accidents may be prevented when a 2018 mandate is actually put in place. The agency reached these conclusions by examining police-reported crashes involving vehicles with and without backup cameras. One inference was that drivers who are 70 years old and above may benefit greatly, as the systems might help in situations of reduced eyesight or decreased cognitive ability. Overall, researchers calculated that there was a 16 percent reduction in backing accidents when a rearview camera was used. This may be seen as a significant finding, considering that backup crashes kill nearly 300 people every year.

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