Volvo is living up to its reputation for being a leader in safety, with a new report shedding light on exactly how big an impact the brand’s new City Safety collision avoidance system is having.
According to a study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), Volvo’s XC60 model, which comes standard with the City Safety system, is involved in significantly fewer crashes than comparable vehicles. And that’s not all. Studying insurance claims data, not only does the XC60 get into 2 percent fewer accidents, but property damage claims are down 27 percent, while claims for personal injuries have been cut in half.
“It is great to see validation from HLDI and IIHS of the safety systems that we at Volvo are continually developing,” said Thomas Broberg, Volvo Car Corp.’s senior safety expert. “This is another step towards achieving our Vision 2020 of eliminating serious injuries and fatalities by the year 2020, and an even larger step towards a crash-free future.”
Along with preventing accidents and saving lives, the City Safety system is also benefiting the insurance companies, with property damage payouts down 20 percent, and overall collision payouts down 31 percent.
Volvo’s City Safety system works by using a laser sensor in the front of the vehicle that scans the road ahead, applying the brakes automatically at speeds between 2 and 19 mph if the driver does not react. At speeds below 9 mph the system can bring the car to a complete stop, while at speeds between 9 and 19 mph it can engage the brakes and reduce the speed at impact by half. Originally a technology only for the XC60 luxury crossover, it is now standard on all 2012 S60, S80 and XC70 models.
“This is our first real-world look at an advanced crash avoidance technology, and the findings are encouraging,” said Adrian Lund, president of HLDI and IIHS. “City Safety is helping XC60 drivers avoid the kinds of front-to-rear low speed crashes that frequently happen on congested roads.”
So could buying a Volvo cut your insurance costs? In the future, perhaps. “The lower claim frequencies found by HLDI prove that City Safety is preventing crashes and thus reducing insurance costs,” said John Maloney, VCNA’s vice president of marketing and product planning. “There’s an opportunity here for insurance companies to begin offering a discount on vehicles equipped with City Safety or similar crash-avoidance technologies.”