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The benefits of lane departure warning systems

Just 6 percent of the new vehicles on sale around the country come equipped with lane departure warning systems as standard equipment. Studies have found that such systems can prevent accidents and save lives in California, but researchers have also discovered that drivers often switch these potentially lifesaving devices off because they find the beeps they make irritating. While lane departure systems are available as an option on most new vehicles for sale in the United States, they are often packaged in with other options or only available on more expensive trim levels.

After studying the data gathered from around 5,000 accidents that took place in 2015, researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that head-on collision rates were 11 percent lower and the rates of accidents that resulted in injuries were 21 percent lower among vehicles equipped with lane departure systems. These figures suggest that about 55,000 road users could have escaped injury that year if every vehicle was equipped with the technology.

Other researchers have come to similar conclusions. Lane departure systems lowered crash rates by as much as 50 percent in studies conducted in Sweden and the United States, but a 2017 IIHS study found that many drivers who have this technology at their disposal switch it off. IIHS researchers checked 983 vehicles equipped with lane departure warning systems while they were being serviced, and only 51 percent of them had the technology switched on.

Experienced personal injury attorneys may have the vehicles involved in car accidents checked for mechanical defects or signs of poor maintenance, and they may also ask their inspectors to verify that all safety systems were operational when the crash occurred. To prevail in court, car accident victims must show that they suffered injury due to the negligent actions of other parties.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Lane maintenance systems still a turnoff for many drivers", June 22, 2017

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