It is no secret that crash avoidance features have countless safety benefits. However, when accidents result in the need for repairs, owners could find themselves with technology problems that could undermine the effectiveness of the technology.
Countless cars and trucks have crash avoidance features, with more fleets quickly signing on to the technology. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted research that revealed significant reductions in various types of crashes due to cutting-edge technology. More and more vehicles now include forward collision warnings, blind spot detection, and rearview cameras.
Automatic emergency braking, in particular, resulted in accidents going down 50 percent and significantly reducing insurance claims.
The risks of driving post-repairs
Findings revealed that approximately 50 percent of the 3,000 owners experienced issues with the completed repairs. A minority of the problems could not be resolved easily and brought their vehicles in more than once. However, most would still buy a similar car and are not bothered by out-of-pocket costs.
Issues arise when repairs impact the technology. Recalibrating cameras and sensors is complex and carries a significant price tag. A standard windshield replacement could lead to a four-fold increase in costs to calibration.
Notably, windshield repairs mandate the calibration of crash avoidance sensors and cameras, particularly when removed, replaced, or reinstalled. After work was done, respondents reported higher incidences of problems after completing repairs.
Post-repair issues become problematic due to collision or windshield replacement. Seventy-five percent of repairs presented immediate danger due to the damage resulting in technological problems. Less than half of those having different issues that required repairs also had issues.
Many potential solutions exist:
- Self-diagnosing systems that alert drivers of problems already included in vehicles
- Simplifying and standardizing calibration while providing data to repair shops
- A centralized database of specifications and instructions made available to technicians
An easy and quick “fix” remains elusive to these problems. Continuing improvements can help. For now, many motor vehicle operators could be at risk due to overreliance on technology that may or may not fail.