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Volvo system reduces injuries

Lund says the early XC60 figures point to the importance of City Safety-style technologies.

The XC60 SUV first fitted with the low-speed safety system is involved in fewer than half the number of bodily-injury crashes of its mid- sized rivals, according to a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute. The report also says the XC60 is involved in 27 per cent fewer property-damage crashes than its prestige SUV rivals.

The City Safety system even provides better protection over the rest of the Volvo family, as the XC60 is 19 per cent less likely than other Volvo models - which are being included in a progressive rollout of technology that includes a pedestrian-recognition package and automatic braking - to be involved in property damage crashes.

The new results - which show the XC60 is involved in 51 per cent few bodily-injury accidents than other SUVs in its class - have prompted strong support from the Institute, which says collision-avoidance systems can help distracted drivers who fail to notice an potential emergency.

"These are very large effects. The pattern of results strongly indicates that City Safety is preventing low-speed crashes and reducing insurance costs," says Institute president, Adrian Lund. "Driver mistakes are responsible for 90 percent of crashes. This is the first technology that can reach out to the driver at the moment of danger and bring his mind back to the danger.

"This is our first real-world look at an advanced crash avoidance technology, and the findings are encouraging. City Safety is helping XC60 drivers avoid the kinds of front-to-rear, low-speed crashes that frequently happen on congested roads."

The Institute compiled its results using insurance claims for the 2010- model XC60 in the USA, checking for the number of claims and the claim costs. Lund says the early XC60 figures point to the importance of City Safety-style technologies.

"As people grow more aware of the risks of distracted driving, crash avoidance systems like this one can help to ensure that a momentary lapse of attention during a congested commute doesn't result in a crash."

Later this year, the Institute will also study the effectiveness of collision avoidance systems designed for high speeds.