Study: new safety systems are preventing crashes

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Researchers say safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes.

Two studies released Wednesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that vehicles with lane-keeping and blind-spot monitoring systems had lower crash rates than the same vehicles without the systems. Some lane-keeping systems even nudge vehicles back into their lanes for drivers.

Lane-keeping systems lowered rates of single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on crashes, in which there were injuries, by 21 percent.

But the institute’s research also raises concern that drivers may be less vigilant when relying on automated systems or become distracted by dashboard displays that monitor how the systems are performing.