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IIHS data indicates automakers are improving crash avoidance

Earlier this spring, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released the results of safety tests on 24 newer vehicle models. This release hardly seems newsworthy at first glance. After all, the IIHS, federal regulators, auto manufacturers and other interested organizations release a seemingly endless stream of safety ratings every year. However, this release is decidedly unique for one reason.

In its latest round of crash avoidance tests, the IIHS specifically concerned itself with vehicle performance in relation to distracted drivers. Specifically, the organization focused on safety performance during rear-end car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Given that distracted driving behaviors now contribute to more accidents than any other preventable factors do, this round of tests is particularly relevant.

Of the 24 models tested, 21 scored ratings of advanced or superior in terms of safety performance, according to the New York Times. This testing data stands in contrast to similar testing done last autumn in which approximately one-third of models tested received a rating of basic safety performance.

The safety ratings news released by the IIHS is generally good. The organization reports that auto manufacturers are getting better at mitigating safety performance challenges posed by distracted driving behaviors. Of course, this turn of events does not mean that it is safe to drive while distracted. Distracted driving remains an irresponsible and potentially deadly choice to make. However, it is heartening to learn that those individuals who continue to drive while distracted are becoming less likely to inflict deadly consequences on you and your loved ones.

Source: New York Times, “Higher Scores on Crash Avoidance,” Cheryl Jensen, May 30, 2014

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