Vehicle proximity sensors have become more and more commercially available since the early 2000’s. From the beginning of automatic parking systems to fully-automated cars, this technology has been widely desired and met with investment from the industry. So the real question is: Does automobile sensor technology make driving safer? Automobile Sensor Technology

Types Of Automobile Sensor Technology

To begin, let’s break down various types of this car safety technology and how they work.

Lane-departure warning – While sensing when you exit your lane, this will also provide gentle steering back into your lane

Parking assist systems – These sensors around the perimeter of the car aid during parking speeds by alerting you when obstacles are getting close.

Pedestrian detection – Works in conjunction with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking to sense and prevent collision with pedestrians.

Rear cross-traffic alert – Senses traffic that may cross your path as you reverse – very helpful in parking lots and driveways. Some systems will automatically brake in the event of an obstruction.

Forward-collision warning – scans for cars, using cameras, radar or laser to alert the driver of an imminent crash when approaching an object too quickly [usually an audio or visual alert allowing time to react].

Adaptive cruise control – Using lasers, radar, or cameras, maintains a constant distance between you and the car ahead. Some systems will even come to a full stop when traffic deems appropriate, then automatically resume when traffic starts again.

Blind-spot warning – Using radar or cameras, this feature will illuminate a warning when another vehicle is within your car’s blind-spot. Some will also give an audio alert when attempting to move into a lane with a blind-spot obstruction.

Are Proximity Sensors Making The Road Safer?

car proximity sensorsThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performed a study using police-reported crash data from 2010 to 2014, from 22 states and found that systems with forward-collision warning reduced rear end collisions by 27 percent; combined with automatic braking reduced them by 50 percent.

However, a study by The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) could not find a clear effectiveness with other crash avoidance technologies such as lane departure warningBlind Spot Warning and rear cameras did show more favorably in the study, however results were inconclusive.

While studies continue, forms of automobile sensor technology such as front crash prevention systems have proven their worth, insomuch that IIHS and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced March 2016 with a commitment from 20 major automakers, that they will become standard on virtually all models by September 2022.

Automobile Accident Attorneys

Want to know more about the effectiveness of automobile safety features? Stay tuned as McKenzie & Snyder continues to break down some solid facts to answer the question: Do newer automobile safety features increase passenger safety?


Mckenzie & Snyder is here for you if you have been through an accident.

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