Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) research found General Motors’ autobraking and even collision warning alone cut the number of police-reported rear-end incidents, another sign that the technology will affect body shops’ volume.
General Motors gave the IIHS VIN numbers for 2013-15 Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets and GMCs with and without the active (the car can control itself in a pinch) or passive (the driver still needs to react) crash prevention technology.
Cicchino paired this with 23 states’ police reports containing information about where the vehicles were struck.
Having limited the study to front-to-rear crashes, she then worked out crash rates per insured vehicle year through data from the IIHS’ Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). She used other HLDI and GM data to control for other crash-related factors such as vehicle location, the driver and advanced headlights.
GM vehicles with both autobraking and the collision warning posted 43 percent fewer crashes, and crashes with injuries fell 64 percent. Forward collision warning technology by itself did enough to focus drivers on the threat that front-to-rear crashes fell 17 percent, and crashes with injuries fell 30 percent.
The crashes with injuries statistics matters to shops as well as doctors, for it suggests that the autobraking was able to at least reduce the severity of the collisions that couldn’t be avoided. This means, for example, that a crash that would have yielded a heavy-hit job for a repairer might be mitigated by the technology to produce a medium-hit job instead. It’d be interesting to see if this mitigation is enough to save a significant number of vehicles from being “totalled”, which might at least offset a little of what appears to be an inevitable decline in overall collision volume as the technology spreads.
Virtually all automakers have committed to making full-blown autobraking standard by 2022, and General Motors spokesman Tom Wilkinson told Consumer Reports that more than 70 percent of its vehicles have autobraking as at least an option.
However, even older vehicles could be upgraded with just the collision warning systems shown by the IIHS to threaten repairer volume.
This article courtesy of John Huetter of Repairer Driven Education (RDE). Check out their website at; http://www.repairerdrivennews.com/ for this and many other informative and educational articles on the collision repair industry.