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Smart cars make driving safer

Car insurance providers are happy to report that there are advancements in automobile safety every year.

From space-aged sensors to cameras, consumers now have access to a wide array of safety features when purchasing a new car. Learn more about how these and other important safety features work to make your ride safer.

What makes my car safe?

Safety belts and airbags are the main features that determine the safety of your vehicle. Another key safety feature is the car’s solid structure. A strong occupant compartment or safety cage will, in the event of a serious crash, absorb the force of an impact. A solid side structure and roof will also keep the vehicle stable during a roll over or a strike to the side of the car.

This year’s edition of the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s “How Cars Measure Up” outlines the results for which vehicles were deemed the safest based on the number of insurance claims for each model. See the full report card. for all makes and models between the years 2001-2013.

What kinds of technologies make a car safer?

Advanced safety technologies are slowly making their way into cars of every make and model. Crash avoidance technologies such as forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and blind-spot detection alert drivers when the car detects a possibility of a collision. This gives drivers the opportunity to take action that can help to avoid or mitigate a crash. Some systems will even intervene directly by braking automatically, or steering the vehicle away from danger.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems continuously monitor how well your car responds to driver input to improve control during emergency maneuvers to help the car stay on the road.

Insurance claims data shows that front crash prevention technologies significantly reduce collisions. Additionally the Highway Loss Data Institute have found that ESC reduces fatal single-vehicle crash risk by 49 percent and fatal multiple-vehicle crash risk by 20 percent for cars and SUVs.1 Adaptive headlights were also found to be effective through the analysis done by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

All of these features are important when it comes to crash prevention and keeping your family safe.

In the future, advancements in safety engineering may allow your car to communicate with other vehicles on the road to help avoid crashes. This puts a whole new meaning to smart cars.

At the end of the day, cars with added safety technologies and features can help reduce claims and help protect what matters most, you and your family.

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1 Farmer, C.M. 2010. Effects of electronic stability control on fatal crash risk. Arlington, VA: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.