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In a news story that elicits images of flying cars and robot nannies (shout out to all Jetsons fans), vehicles are now coming equipped with sophisticated accident avoidance technology to help prevent wrecks.

New vehicles have long been rated by how well they protect the occupants in controlled crash tests. The most recent ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) took a leap forward by predicting how well a given model’s advanced safety technology will help assist the driver to avoid an accident.

Currently, all vehicles sold in the U.S. are required to come with electronic stability control, which is intended to prevent a car from fishtailing out of control in sudden or emergency handling situations. According to the IIHS, stability control lowers the risk of a deadly crash by an estimated 33 percent and lessens the risk of a sing-vehicle rollover by 73 percent.

The major advancement comes in cars and crossovers offering sophisticated crash avoidance systems that alert the driver if sensors determine a car is closing in on the vehicle or other object in its path too quickly. These systems even tighten seatbelts and pre-prime the brakes to full stopping power if/when anticipating a crash. The most effective of systems will take it further by applying the brakes if the driver fails to react quickly enough to prevent the crash. Yes, you read that correctly – the car will hit the brakes if it determines you didn’t respond fast enough.

New Infiniti models have the aforementioned technology to engage the brakes to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Volvo, on the other hand, has the technology that can automatically stop a car to avoid a crash with another vehicle, pedestrian or a bicyclist.

To read more details and to also see crash results, please visit Also see, “New ‘Inside IIHS’ video shows how vehicles are prepped for crash tests.

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