It might seem as though vehicles today are packed to the rafters with added safety features – but new research has suggested they could really be making a difference in saving lives.

Consumer Reports’ Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) survey collected data on 72,000 cars manufactured between 2015 and 2019 to assess drivers’ experiences with tools like automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning.

Making a difference

The report revealed 57 per cent of respondents said that at least one advanced driver-assist feature in their car had prevented them from getting into a crash.

Automatic emergency braking generated the most satisfaction among vehicle owners, along with adaptive cruise control and blind spot warning.

Indeed, it was the latter that was most likely to keep drivers out of a crash, with 60 per cent reporting it had prevented a collision.

Meanwhile, one in five polled said they hadn’t been too concerned about getting automatic emergency braking in their cars – but 42 per cent said it had saved them from an accident.

When asked about the least satisfying safety features, owners highlighted lane-keeping features due to annoying alerts or overly aggressive steering corrections, something manufacturers may need to keep in mind.

Consumer Reports senior director of auto testing Jake Fisher said: “Cars can do so much today to keep their drivers and passengers safe, and we want to push the industry to make these systems commonplace for all drivers. These systems are creating positive outcomes in situations that only a few short years ago would have ended in costly and tragic results.”

Last year, the European Commission proposed new measures that would mean all vehicles need to be fitted with autonomous emergency braking and intelligent speed assistance by 2021. However, this would need to be approved by all member states and the European Parliament before coming to fruition.

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “Sometimes it can feel as though carmakers are competing for the most technologically-advanced vehicle, but it’s great to see pioneering safety features are making a difference. We’d also like to see such systems appearing as standard on all makes and models.”

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