Never Hit another Car in the Rear Again

As part of its ongoing attempt to make cars safer for everyone, Volvo has introduced an innovative new technology that is designed to reduce the number of rear-end accidents on congested highways. The new system involves a laser that mounts on the front bumper of the 2011 Volvo XC60 SUV. Called City Safety, the laser system measures the distance between the front bumper of the SUV and objects in front of it. If the car moves within a certain range of an object, the City Safety system will automatically apply the brakes without waiting to alert the driver.

Technology for Slow Moving Vehicles

While there are other systems designed to prevent crashes at higher speeds, City Safety is the first system specifically designed to protect against low-speed impacts. The system only engages when the car is moving at 20 mph or slower. It monitors any object within 18 feet of the front bumper and works in both daytime and nighttime conditions. According to national insurance company data, rear-end collisions at slow speeds are the most commonly reported accidents. City Safety is designed to focus specifically on reducing this type of accident.

Rear End Collisions Reduced During Congested Traffic

The reason rear-end collisions are so common is because they can happen in any traffic jam situation. When cars line up in slower moving highway traffic, it can be easy to accidentally run into the car in front of you. Many of the rear-end accidents result in several accidents at once because the cars behind the initial accident are unable to stop in time. Cars that are involved in fender benders on busy highways increase the danger of further accidents until they can move out of the flow of traffic. The people involved in these accidents also have a greater risk of personal injury because they usually exit their vehicles and stand on the side of the busy road until the accident has been fully investigated and reported.

Claims are Less Expensive

City Safety may not be able to prevent every rear-end collision, but it does help keep the insurance claims costs lower if an accident happens. The system will engage in situations when a driver may have been unaware of the danger and reacted more slowly. City Safety slows the car down enough that a more serious accident can be less serious because the impact happens at an even slower speed. The system could save time and money for insurance companies as well as drivers.

Federal Agency Monitoring Safety Technology Improvements

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is keeping a close eye on new technology that increases the safety of new vehicles. David Strickland, the NHTSA Administrator, is excited about the innovative changes under development for new cars. The Highway Loss Data Institute reports a noticeable reduction in the volume of insurance claims processed for drivers who own the XC60. High-speed crash rates have remained constant, but the City Safety system has made a tangible difference in the amount of money insurance companies are paying out for rear-end collisions at slow speeds.

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