Is the new safety technology like alerts, lane departure, and collision worth it?

DAR

New member
My parents have a 2011 Volvo XC60 that they loved so much that when their other car died they bought a S80. My Dad searched high and low far cars with technology/ safety packages and found nothing that matched Volvo's new safety features.

Anyway, DH is car shopping and a Volvo just won't fly at work. I have been reading reviews and descriptions of other cars new technologies and can't figure out what really would be a safety improvement for him from a safety standpoint. DH when he travels usually travels 100 to 200 miles one way and drives back after midnight, so I worry about him being tired. I copied parts of the safety/ technology descriptions for those not familiar with Volvo.

Collision Warning with full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection
Select the desired speed and the minimum time gap to the vehicle in front of you. When the radar sensor detects a slower vehicle in front of you, the speed automatically adapts to that vehicle. The feature uses both a radar sensor and a digital camera to monitor the area in front of the car. The driver receives visual and audible warnings if a collision with the vehicle in front is imminent. The brake system prepares to brake and provides the driver with additional braking force. If the driver does not react by braking, the car will do so automatically with full braking force. The driver can choose between three waring distance settings: long, normal and short. Only vehicles that are stationary or moving in the same direction as the car are detected. The audible warning can be switched off.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist and Distance Alert (Dad loves this one) Activates at 18 plus miles an hour. Distance alert activates a red warning light in the lower section of the windshield to help you keep a proper distance.

City Safety(City Safety™ triggers brief, forceful braking if a
low-speed collision is imminent. However, the
system will not intervene in situations where
the driver actively steers the vehicle or applies
the brakes, even if a collision cannot be avoided.)

Driver Alert Control & Lane Departure Warning
The Driver Alert Control is the first in the world of passenger cars to alert the driver when his or her concentration level is affected. Together with the Lane Departure Warning, which signals when the car crosses road markings without obvious reason, the system is designed to address the risk of accidents caused by driver distraction.
 
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DAR

New member
Re: Iis the new safety technology like alerts, lane departure, and collision worth it?

Currently employees have Toyota, Jeep and Fords. I have been researching their technology/ safety packages and nothing seems like a great match. Does anyone have experience with these features in any of these brands and would they recommend them? I read an older article and it said only Volvo actually reduced accidents with their technology features, but other brands had not proved effective. I think it was written a few years ago before the technology was widely used.

Model considerations would be the Explorer, but the BLIS system comes with inflatable seat belts. Not sure why they package those two together, but I want to be able to choose boosters and install Frontiers using a harness. His boss has a Jeep Cherokee all decked out, but it does not have a 3rd row. We currently have a 6 and 4 year old in Frontiers/ Nautilus (they are very tall for their age). I might have a 3rd so want to fit all 3 in DH's SUV. Maybe the new Highlander will be, but DH's 2006 Sierra has 200,000 miles and is starting to act up a bit. We own the Sierra so we would like to sell it before we have to pay for out of pocket repairs.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Re: Iis the new safety technology like alerts, lane departure, and collision worth it?

If you are looking for an SUV, the Infiniti JX has similar systems (optional). We have a review at CarseatBlog. I really appreciated them, and they can be disabled for those that find them too invasive. In particular, lane departure warning and collision/distance warning can be very handy for those who log a lot of miles while tired. For me, driving around town, I find the rear cross traffic alert and overhead camera view to be big improvements over a basic rear camera like I have.
 

SavsMom

New member
The new Subaru Forester and Outback have the option of adding the EyeSight system: pre-collision braking, pre-collision brake assist, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lane sway and departure warning, lead vehicle start alert.

My parents have this on their Outback and I know they love it. They love the ride, handling, awd system (they took it through 2-3 ft snow drifts with no issues).
 

cantabdad

New member
Maybe you've already seen it, but IIHS has a good summary sheet on their research with these technologies.

http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr070312.html

Overall, it seems that some of them do have modest but statistically significant benefits, while for others the jury is still out. Most people I know who have these systems like and appreciate them, though one person mentioned being concerned about his potential over-reliance on the adaptive cruise control (which parallels a safety issue that has emerged in the aviation world with overreliance on autopilot systems).

Certainly if your husband does a lot of night driving where fatigue may be an issue then these supporting systems would be especially valuable.

From a statistical point of view, probably the number 1 safety system to have in terms of crash prevention is Electronic Stability Control -- which is now standard on all new cars.

Just out of curiosity why would a Volvo be unacceptable at work?
 

AK Dad

New member
Just out of curiosity why would a Volvo be unacceptable at work?
Same! After seeing the new small-overlap IIHS test results, Volvo's stock has gone way, way up in my book! Will be pretty difficult for me to justify our next new vehicle being anything other than a Volvo ...
 

jenia5412

New member
Same! After seeing the new small-overlap IIHS test results, Volvo's stock has gone way, way up in my book! Will be pretty difficult for me to justify our next new vehicle being anything other than a Volvo ...
My Volvo is an '07 and doesn't have all that new safety stuff, but I still feel the same way! I might just be a Volvo driver for life. =)
 

DAR

New member
Same! After seeing the new small-overlap IIHS test results, Volvo's stock has gone way, way up in my book! Will be pretty difficult for me to justify our next new vehicle being anything other than a Volvo ...
DH's company was bought in the last year and while previously there were a few Volvos, they have now been replaced with top of the line Jeeps, explorers and prius's. He is upper management in a construction and I think they decided it looked better if they drove non upper end brands. He needs a good cargo area because he takes supplies to projects which is why he liked the xc70.

I agree about Volvos. My Dad had to order his S80 to get all the safety features he wanted. His Xc60 was a dealer model that he got a great deal on. He might not have gone for their technology package otherwise, but once he had it he could not go back. He looked at the new Avalon to replace his old one but it did not compare. My parent now favor the S80 because the adaptive cruise control is awesome on it.
 
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SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Aside from the cars, Volvo reps have been very proactive at child passenger safety conferences, something that is true of only a few manufacturers. That is always greatly appreciated. On the downside, I've had some poor experiences with their marketing department. I've heard from others in the industry that some things have really not been the same since Ford sold them to a Chinese holding group few years ago. Hopefully that doesn't affect their emphasis on safety in the future.
 

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