Crash Avoidance Tech May Benefit Young Drivers More Than Others

Chris Teague | Sep 10, 2021

There’s a good reason why nearly all new vehicles are at least available with advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) that help to prevent crashes: They save lives. A recent study from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) suggests that they also reduce the number of insurance claims, especially for younger drivers.

Subaru Forester EyeSight ADAS Display Screen

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

The organization conducted separate studies of Honda, Kia, and Subaru vehicles, and found that crash avoidance systems had a more significant impact on younger drivers than those with more experience behind the wheel. Drivers under 25 years old saw larger reductions in the frequency of collision and property damage liability than those ages 25 and older.

The HLDI studied insurance claims for the three automakers, comparing data for vehicles equipped with crash avoidance tech against those lacking the features. The study selected vehicles using their vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and used data about the insured drivers to break them out based on age. 

Each automaker has a different “flavor” of ADAS, but the HLDI states that all three brands it studied came with forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning. The vehicles equipped with Kia Drive Wise and Subaru EyeSight packages also included automatic emergency braking, and were associated with more considerable reductions in claim frequencies than the examined Honda models. 

The HLDI study looked at two types of collision coverage. The first insures against crash-related damage to the insured driver’s own vehicle when the other driver is at fault. The second was property damage liability, which insures against damage insured drivers cause to other cars and property. 

Drivers under 25 years old saw reduced claim frequencies under both coverages at a greater rate than those in the 25-64 and 65+ age groups. That said, the evaluated Hondas, which the HLDI said lacked automatic emergency braking, were shown to provide about the same benefit for people under the 25 and in the 25-64 age group. 

The HLDI is careful to note that drivers can turn off crash avoidance features in vehicles from all three brands. The study had no way of knowing who used the features and how their deactivation may have affected insurance claims. 

The Highway Loss Data Institute was founded in 1972 and analyzes losses under six insurance coverages: collision, property damage liability, personal injury protection, medical payment, bodily injury liability, and comprehensive. The organization’s database is the largest repository of insurance data in the world.

HLDI is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on September 9, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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