Common car Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems and the impact on your car insurance

Driving safely

In a recent article, we took a look at car safety ratings and their impact on insurance. Truth be told, in many cases when people start looking for a new car, especially those with a family, the vehicle's safety will be among the most important things considered. In recent years we have seen smart technologies employed in cars with increasing frequency, especially when it comes to safety. Here we take a look at the most commonly requested car safety tech features, and the impact they might have on the cost of car insurance in Hong Kong.

The most popular car safety features

Let's face it, the days of roll-down windows, straight steel bumpers, and single-airbag cars are gone. These days, car manufacturers have implemented a seemingly never-ending list of safety features, many powered by modern "smart" technologies. When combined, these safety-oriented technologies are referred to by governments and manufacturers as Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). Together, these systems aim to make not only your car, but also road driving, even safer.  

Here are some of the most popular ADAS features people should consider when looking for a new vehicle.

Collision warning/avoidance systems

Most new vehicles have a variety of sensors around the body of the car that monitor the surroundings and road ahead/behind. One of the features that uses the data generated by these sensors is the collision warning/avoidance system. If the car judges that you are about to run into something it will either sound an alert or take action to stop or swerve the vehicle out of the way.

In many cases, these systems are used to minimize the damage caused by a collision rather than avoid it completely. For example, if triggered the car will start to apply the brake before the driver can react in order to slow the vehicle. Other cars might actually take action and move the vehicle if there are no other obstructions.

Automatic navigation systems

While not necessarily a new system, the GPS, and navigation system has become a standard component of many vehicles. Today, many of these systems have become incredibly powerful and can even work with your phone to broadcast up-to-date information about traffic and road conditions and even reroute you if necessary.

Beyond that, many now have speed limits included with the maps, letting you know if you are speeding or in an area where the speed limit has changed.

Backup cameras

Backup and vehicle position cameras are among the most useful ADAS tools for drivers in Hong Kong, or any city for that matter. By providing you with a clear view of what's directly ahead or behind you, you can better avoid obstacles that would otherwise cause damage while parking.

Here in Hong Kong, one of the best reasons why these cameras are so important is they allow you to see pedestrians behind the vehicle, and when combined with backup sensors that alarm you when someone or something is close to the vehicle, serve to minimize the chances of you hitting someone who darts behind the car when you aren't looking.

Lane departure warning system

Utilizing the various sensors now found on almost every car, this system tracks the lane your vehicle is moving in. If you start to drift you will either receive a warning, or the car might make a small adjustment to bring you back into your lane.

This system can be especially useful if you are driving at night, or on wet roads where the lane demarcation lines (both yellow and white) could be harder to see. If the car detects that you are straying from your lane you will usually hear a loud beeping sound alerting you to take action and correct your course before you cause an accident.  

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