The chance of an accident is a lot smaller for drivers of cars that are equipped with systems that warn if something is about to go wrong. Sounds logical, but there is no evidence for it, based on data from insurance claims after accidents. These data show that cars with such a system are involved in accidents less often than cars without driver assistance. This is shown by research by the Data Analytics Center (DAC) of the Dutch Association of Insurers.

 

Reduce impact

“The risk of an accident can be reduced by as much as 50 to 65 percent,” said Richard Weurding, director of the Association. Last year more than 600 people were killed in traffic. “With these systems, that impact can be reduced, thereby lowering costs for society.”

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Of all the so-called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), the Lane Keep Assist appears to contribute the most to safety. With this system, which warns you if you are about to get out of your lane and make adjustments, the chance of an accident is 67 percent smaller.

‘Developments are going fast

“Developments have gone very fast in recent years, especially because the chips are becoming increasingly intelligent,” says Jos van der Meij of Volvo dealer Broekhuis from Zeist.

Warnings

The so-called Rear Collision Warning system, which warns if a collision from behind is imminent, reduces the risk of an accident by 50%. This system warns the next driver to avoid the collision, and if that doesn’t work, it tightens the seat belts to better protect the car’s occupants from the impact. It also applies the brakes to the vehicle. The system that warns drivers about pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles in their blind spots also reduce the risk of an accident by a third.

Not all systems are favorable

Incidentally, not all driving aids are good for safety. The risk of accidents is actually greater when using cruise control and parking assistance, according to the research.

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At the ANWB they also see disadvantages when using the driver aids. “Some systems give the impression that the car is self-driving,” says Chris Hottentot of the ANWB. This is the case, for example, with Adaptive Cruise Control, in which the car automatically keeps a sufficient distance from the vehicle in front.

Call to politics

According to RAI spokesperson Floris Liebrand, the car industry association is a strong supporter and even advocates for tax incentives to encourage its use. This could be accomplished by exempting the systems from the BPM, the passenger car purchase tax, or simply lowering the tax.

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