New Car Safety Technology Keeps Us All Safer On The Roads...At A Cost

 

When it comes to getting a new car, safety is one of the biggest factors to consider. However, despite technology rapidly growing, advanced driver assistance systems which help to boost up the safety of the car are bumping up the price of car repairs.

 

According to a survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA), these new technologies, among them blind spot monitors, lane keeping assistance and forward collision warnings, are used to help keep drivers safer on the roads, but will cost a bomb to repair in case of accidents. It’s been proven with research showing that these systems can significantly reduce the likelihood of a crash.

“Advanced safety systems are much more common today,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “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.”

Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows these features can be highly effective. It’s been estimated that forward collision warning with auto-braking, for example, can prevent one in six front-end crashes, while lane departure warning lowers incidents of single-car, sideswipe and head-on crashes by 11% while also cutting by 21% the number of crashes resulting in injuries.

But with these new advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in place, automakers have to build in high-tech sensors, or in some cases high tech cameras as well in order to accurately track and measure the surroundings of the car. Most carmakers are also putting in radar, lasers, sonar sensors, light detection and ranging (LIDAR), as well as 3D laser technology to help with sensing the conditions of the road and the car.


However, the main problem with these high tech devices is that they are often put in harm’s way whenever an accident does occur. So a dent or a fender bender will essentially render your expensive ADAS tech useless and in need of repair or even worse, replacement. AAA’s research found out that a minor collision for a ADAS-equipped car can run up repair costs of up to USD$5,300 (RM22,000)! We don’t need to tell you that it’s really expensive.

For example, let’s take a look at the most common car repairs; a cracked windshield. In Malaysia, a stray stone or branch from the nearby lorry can hit and leave your windshield cracked, which is a huge problem. However, changing or repairing the windshield of an ADAS-equipped car can be more costly, complicated by the cameras and other safety devices positioned behind, or mounted directly on, the windshield. Add in the fact that the ADAS system will need to be carefully recalibrated, and there may be a need for special glass with a higher optical clarity.

 Image from:  The Allstate Blog

Image from: The Allstate Blog

“It is not unusual for windshields to get chipped or cracked, especially for drivers who commute on a daily basis,” said AAA’s Nielsen. “This may be an eyesore on a regular car, but when it falls in the line of sight of a camera or the driver, it becomes a safety issue that needs immediate attention by a facility qualified to work on these systems.”

So while these new technologies are preventing thousands and thousands of accidents on the road, and also reducing the number of injuries and deaths that occur on the road, carmakers should also consider the cost of repair so that this system can be more widely rolled out to more people.

 

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