ATLANTA — New AAA research recently found that advanced driver assistance systems could prevent about 37 million crashes.


Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are the eyes and ears of your car. They use sensors and cameras to detect potential hazards, warn drivers, and automatically take corrective action. These safety systems are common in newer vehicles, and they have the potential to prevent accidents and save lives – but by how much?

New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that available ADAS technologies could prevent about 37 million crashes, 14 million injuries, and about 250,000 deaths over the next 30 years. This would represent 16% of the accidents and injuries and 22% of deaths that would otherwise have occurred on US roads without these technologies.

“The findings of this latest study on the AAA Foundation’s work in emerging technologies demonstrate that ADAS has the potential to transform road safety,” said Dr. David Yang, President and Executive Director of the AAA Foundation. “However, the full safety benefits of ADAS will not be realized until they are fully understood, properly used and widely adopted by the consumer.”

The future security benefits of ADAS may be large or small, depending on a number of factors, including consumer rates, usage, and future development of these technologies, as well as many other factors. But technology limits still exist, and while ADAS could save 250,000 lives over the next 30 years, around 900,000 lives will be lost on our roads if current trends continue.

So how do these systems work? Here are some of the most common ADAS features:

  • Forward Collision Warning: Detects a possible collision with the vehicle ahead and alerts the driver. Some systems also provide alerts for pedestrians or other objects.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control: Cruise control that also assists in acceleration and braking to maintain a driver-selected differential to the vehicle in front. Some systems can stop and continue, while others cannot.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking: Detects a potential collision with the vehicle ahead, warns of a forward collision, and automatically applies the brakes to avoid a collision or reduce the severity of the impact. Some systems also detect pedestrians or other objects.
  • Lane Departure Alert: Monitors the position of the vehicle within the driving lane and alerts the driver as soon as the vehicle approaches or crosses the lane markers.
  • Lane Keeping Assist: Provides steering assistance to assist the driver in keeping the vehicle in the lane. The system reacts only when the vehicle approaches or crosses a lane line or road edge.
  • Blind Spot Monitoring: Detects vehicles in the blind spot while driving and informs the driver about their presence. Some systems provide additional warnings if the driver activates the turn signal.

Unlike full automation, which is not yet commercially available, ADAS serves to form a “safety net” of the vehicle. The study found that the security benefits of ADAS will vary depending on the type of system and how it is used. Last year AAA engineers investigated automatic emergency braking systemWhich effectively prevents rear-end accidents, but less so when encountering cyclists or vehicles crossing the road.

“While these systems may be helpful for drivers, they are not perfect. That’s why it’s important that drivers remain aware of their vehicle’s limitations and remain fully engaged while driving,” said Monterey Vetters, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group.

according to recent Foundation research featuring adaptive cruise control (ACC), the drivers may initially lack proper knowledge to use it properly. This can lead to abuse or mistrust, especially in situations beyond the system’s capability (i.e., edge cases). But with time and exposure to various edge-case phenomena, drivers can better understand and use ACC more effectively.

The Foundation’s research reinforces the importance of the Secure Systems Approach (SSA). It is a strategic way to take advantage of engineering and behavioral measures proven to be effective in preventing traffic accidents and their resulting injuries. Learn more about SSA Here,

“The future for ADAS is bright, but it’s not a fix for everything,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy. “While these technologies provide substantial safety benefits, we cannot do our part to avoid traffic injuries and deaths on American roads. It is advisable to invest in various proven traffic safety measures, including but not limited to vehicle technology.

AAA urges automakers to adopt standard naming convention For vehicle technology ensuring drivers understand the capabilities of catchy, marketing-driven branded names for popular systems.

Please refer to the Foundation Report for methodology details.

About the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Established in 1947 by AAA, the Traffic Safety Foundation is a non-profit, publicly funded 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The mission of the AAA Foundation is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by researching their causes and educating the public about strategies to prevent and reduce accidents. This research informs the development of educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.

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About AAA – The Auto Club Group

Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with over 13 million members in 14 US states, the province of Quebec and two US territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offers and much more. The ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with over 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get AAA Mobile Appvisit AAA.comAnd follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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