June 15, 2014

Auto Briefs

It may be safer to let car think for you; insurers may look to your credit score


Lane-departure-warning systems, as on the Volvo XC60, can prevent crashes. (Volvo)

Studies: Robots may be safer drivers

Two studies by researchers at Virginia Tech suggest that cars that automate some of the most dangerous aspects of driving could have a big impact on safety. The studies, sponsored in part by Toyota, used a representative sample of accidents to analyze the crashes, injuries and fatalities that could have been prevented by cars with automated safety systems. They found that lane-departure-warning systems would have prevented 30.3 percent of crashes caused by lane drifting, and 25.8 percent of the injuries. Rear-end- and collision-warning systems and automatic braking would have prevented 3.2 to 7.7 percent of crashes, and would have reduced their severity, the studies found. The number of people hurt or killed would have declined 29 to 50 percent.
New York Times News Service

Your credit score can affect insurance rate

A WalletHub study says that credit scores have a surprisingly big influence on what you pay for car insurance. It found that insurance premiums among five of the largest auto insurers nationwide averaged 65 percent higher for a driver with no credit history versus one with excellent credit. The study — conducted by the Washington-based social media site that focuses on personal finance — found big differences among the insurers it surveyed. Allstate appears to rely on credit data the most, resulting in a 116 percent difference in premiums, while State Farm seemed to rely on those data the least with a fluctuation of 45 percent. In between were Farmers Insurance, Geico and Progressive.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


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