Trends in Automotive Safety: Eliminating the Blind Spot

The importance of automobile safety has been the force behind a number of key innovations over the years from anti-lock brakes to airbags. German auto-makers have been first to leverage many of the most advanced technologies to improve driver safety and the overall driving experience. For example, over the last two decades alone, German vehicles were the first to offer active lane keeping assist, which introduces a vibration to the steering wheel when the driver veers from his or her lane. Then came side assist, a radarbased system that alerts the driver to any vehicle in the blind spot, helping her change lanes safely. This was followed by the introduction of stop-and-go and brake assist, an extension of cruise control, which reduces the risk of rear-end collisions by quickly asserting the brakes before an impending crash.

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These features have become more sophisticated over time and more pervasive, particularly with the introduction of safety cameras in the vehicle to literally eliminate the driver’s blind spot. Back-Up Camera Becomes Baseline The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety in the United States recently released a study that showed the chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than a third in the short span of three years. In fact, advances in safety have improved fatality rates by such a high margin, that cars being sold today offer meaningfully better safety statistics than even those introduced only five years ago. This is creating a virtuous cycle for car makers, giving drivers a reason to purchase a new vehicle sooner rather than later.

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