The development of advanced driver assistance systems could help to reduce the number of accidents on the UK's roads by their integration into the latest vehicles, it has been claimed.

According to Thatcham Research, technological developments like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) could pave the way towards a significant reduction in personal injury claims for motorists and the victims of accidents, as the system automatically slows the vehicle when it sense it is about to have an accident.

Theoretically, this could be of benefit to both motorists and insurers, as it will further limit the likelihood of individuals suffering injuries such as whiplash.

Earlier this month, the Association of British Insurers called for a clampdown on fraudulent whiplash claims in the UK.

The organisation cited research showing there has been a significant drop in the number of traffic accidents on the UK's roads over the last three years. However, during this period, the number of claims for whiplash has trebled.

As such, efforts are now being made by companies like Thatcham to develop new technologies to reduce the likelihood of injury, with the company's data showing vehicles fitted with AEB showed a 25 per cent reduction in the likelihood of passengers suffering serious injury during a year-long study.

"Through our testing protocols and with ongoing support from manufacturers, key safety organisations and stakeholders, Thatcham will continue to drive the quality and range of available systems with the view that prevention is better than cure," commented Matthew Avery, head of research at the company.

As a result, the firm is now in the process of consulting with safety ratings agency Euro NCAP over the potential inclusion of these systems in safety testing from 2014.

Mr Avery concluded: "The effectiveness of AEB systems as primary vehicle safety technologies in preventing accidents from occurring in the first place is the key to reducing both personal injury and accident damage claims."

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Posted by Jack Smith

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