Thousands of accidents could be prevented with new technologies, according to an IIHS study

Advanced technologies such as intersection assistance may be relevant to 650,000 crashes per year and could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes, new data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

“Left-turn assist and other assistive technologies at upcoming intersections could offer major safety benefits for drivers in their 70s and 80s,” said Aimee Cox, IIHS research associate and study author.

With a growing number of older drivers in the US, according to the IIHS, new features will help keep drivers of all ages safe on the road.

“We know that older drivers may be at higher risk of crashes and especially higher risk of having a fatal crash,” said Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president of research.

Front crash prevention features could alert drivers through a warning chime or apply the brakes to avoid a collision. While features like Tesla Autopilot haven’t caught on (the NHTSA opened an investigation in May into a crash that killed three people inside a Tesla vehicle that was on Autopilot), Cicchino said drivers can trust where forward crash prevention technology will put driver safety first.

“We’ve seen some more automated driver assistance features that aren’t necessarily implemented with safety in mind. But for crash-avoidance features, which are implemented for the express purpose of improving safety, we’ve seen that the technologies that we have today they are effective in reducing accidents,” Cicchino said.

Cicchino said he expects most vehicles to be able to communicate with each other through vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity in about 20 years.

“Although systems like Ford’s collision warning have been available for over a decade, we don’t expect this to be available until closer to 2040. Connected vehicle technology is much further behind. So even as it begins to roll out in new cars, it’s still going to take a long time before there’s really a mass for these cars to talk about,” Cicchino said.

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