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How Do Collision Avoidance Systems Work?

September 8, 2017

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), one of the most effective measures for keeping cars and drivers safe on the road is the development of collision avoidance systems. This new technology helps alert drivers when a potential collision is imminent by monitoring other vehicles and their own driving with sensors, AI technology, and cameras. Collision avoidance systems can alert the driver through sounds or lights or even in some cases, like automated braking systems, help you prevent a car accident by partially applying some of your vehicle’s braking power.

At the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm, we understand that safe and responsible driving is the most effective way to avoid auto accidents. However, as more vehicles are outfitted with collision avoidance systems, we believe that the rate of car accidents can decrease even more, making our roads safer for everyone.

In this blog, we take a closer look at these advanced collision avoidance systems to understand how they work. We then review how effective this technology can be and list some of the top car models that come equipped with collision avoidance systems.


Also known as driver assistance systems, this advanced technology is essentially a safety system designed to prevent collisions between motor vehicles. Each collision avoidance system looks a little different, but for the most part, they utilize AI technology, sensors, and dash cams to detect an imminent collision. Once detected, the vehicle will alert the driver, or even in some cases, respond automatically to prevent the potential for a car accident.


There are several different types of collision avoidance systems. While each one works in a unique way, they all serve the similar purpose of preventing auto collisions. Here’s a closer look at the most popular collision avoidance systems:

1. Forward collision mitigation.

This type of collision avoidance measures the speed of your vehicle, any vehicles in close proximity in front of you, and the change in distance between your vehicles. If the vehicles get too close, the car will alert the driver.

2. Lane departure warning.

Even experienced drivers will occasionally drift into other lanes. This type of collision avoidance system is designed to alert drivers when they do so and can also be effective in monitoring your blind spots.

3. Pedestrian detection.

To prevent collisions between vehicles and pedestrians (or cyclists), this type of collision avoidance system uses sensors to detect movement on the road and alerts the driver so they can effectively respond.

4. Automatic braking system.

One of the most common collision avoidance systems, automatic emergency braking (AEB) applies a portion of your vehicle’s braking power when it senses an oncoming object in front of it.


In a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, researchers found that collision avoidance systems are effective at preventing many types of car accidents in Colorado and throughout the U.S. The vice president for research at IIHS said that collision avoidance systems are “saving lives.”

Furthermore, she added that anti-crash technology warning systems are working as intended. In its study, the IIHS found that collision avoidance systems reduce single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on car crashes by 11 percent. Moreover, injury-inducing car crashes of the same types get reduced by 21 percent when drivers operate vehicles equipped with anti-crash systems.

The findings by IIHS are interesting because they do more than simply show the effectiveness of these collision avoidance systems. The results also demonstrate that it’s likely that many drivers actually disable their crash avoidance technology.

The researchers at IIHS found that car accident and injury reduction numbers were low when compared to findings from other studies that tracked US fleet vehicles and Volvo cars in Sweden. Researchers in those studies found a 50 percent reduction in crash rates when collision avoidance systems were included in a vehicle and actively utilized by the driver.


In recent years, collision avoidance systems have become much more common in new cars and trucks. Here are just a few of the top-rated vehicles that come equipped with advanced automated safety features.

1. 2020 Genesis G80.

This car comes with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-control assistance.

2. 2020 Audi A8.

This new Audi comes with predictive suspension that raises the side of your car in the event of a collision. There’s also a laser scanner that works with the front camera to detect the motion of other vehicles.

3. 2020 Nissan Altima.

This model is equipped with a one of a kind Safety Shield 360 that combines automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision mitigation.

4. 2020 Subaru Outback.

Subaru’s patented EyeSight technology includes adaptive cruise control, driver-focus monitoring, forward collision mitigation, and automatic emergency braking.

5. 2020 Tesla Model 3.

For those interested in a safe and environmentally friendly vehicle, this car is for you. The new Tesla Model 3 comes with adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, emergency lane departure avoidance, and emergency braking.


While collision avoidance systems reduce the likelihood of accidents, they do not completely eliminate this risk. Motorists who have been injured in car accidents by reckless drivers should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney. These professionals can help you understand your accident, assess your case, and determine whether or not you’re eligible for financial compensation.

Here at the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is dedicated to helping those involved in a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents. We can help assess your case, educate you on your rights, and help you receive financial compensation if it’s warranted by your individual case. If you’re ever involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to Call Paul and contact us for more information.

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The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm has been fighting for justice for over 12 years. We’re here to stand with you in your quest for fair and full compensation when you’ve been injured in an accident. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars in personal injury settlements and verdicts and have helped thousands of people get back on their feet after experiencing serious injuries.

Each of the attorneys at the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm specializes in personal injury accidents. All of our attorneys offer a hands-on approach to their cases and will aggressively fight in our quest for compensation. Feel confident that you are in the right hands with the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm.