Volvo Safety Reduces Injuries by Half Since 2000 (Videos)

Aug 25, 2012 04:40 AM EDT | Staff Reporter

Volvo claims that the likelihood of being injured in one of its new cars is 50 percent less than in the year 2000. The Swedish automaker says that the reason for this is a combination of knowledge gathered from exhaustive research and experience, and its "holistic" approach to making cars.

"A holistic approach and real-life traffic conditions are always the starting-point for our safety work," Thomas Broberg, a Volvo senior safety advisor, said in a statement. "Our massive database with input from actual road accidents helps us focus on the areas where new technology creates significant results in real-life-traffic."

For over 40 years, Volvo Car Corporation has maintained a Traffic Accident Research team has studied road and collision patterns. The company points to a number of studies that illustrate that its efforts have yielded results.

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found earlier this year that Volvo's City Safety technology has lowered collisions by up to 22 percent. City Safety (see video) is an auto braking system that gives the car the ability to slow itself down before a head-on collision when traveling at certain speeds, and to stop itself altogether when traveling below those speeds.

Separate studies by EuroFOT, a multi-organization auto field test operator, and Volvia, a Swedish insurance company, have yielded similar findings about vehicles with collision-aversion systems. EuroFOT found that cars with adaptive cruise control and collision warning have a 42-percent less chance of frontal crash.  

The IIHS last year awarded five Volvos - the C30, S60, S80, XC60, and XC90 - Top Safety Pick status. In an IIHS report released earlier this month, the S60 was one of only two midsize luxury sedans to attain the highest rating in partial-front crashes (the other was the Acura TL).

Volvo's current safety research has three primary focuses. Automatic Driving Support utilizes information gathered by radar sensors and a camera to ensure that the car follows the vehicle ahead at a safe distance. Intersection Support alerts the driver of cross traffic and applies the brakes when necessary. Animal Detection senses large animals like deer, and brakes for them.

An especially revolutionary Volvo safety technology is the pedestrian airbag that is now found in the 2013 V40 (see video).

"Our own, extensive accident data base shows that the risk of being injured in one of our latest car models has been reduced with around 50 percent since the year 2000," said Thomas Broberg. "And we are working on new technologies that will bring the figure down even further."

He adds that Volvo continues to make progress toward its commitment to completely eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in its new cars by the year 2020.

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