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Car Safety Features May Not Lower Insurance Rates

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While modern vehicles are safer than ever before thanks to crash avoidance technology, insurance experts are saying drivers will not see a decrease in insurance rates anytime soon, the Associated Press reports.

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Although features such as backup cameras and automatic braking can help drivers avoid crashes, vehicles with these technologies in place are more expensive to repair when they do crash, according to Kim Hazelbaker, senior vice president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Va. He also says that many consumers end up turning off safety features because of annoying and false alarms.

“Consumers tell us that there are a lot of false positives,” he said. “This stuff doesn’t always work.”

And while cars are clearly becoming safer – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that passenger car and truck accident fatalities have dropped from 32,300 in 2003 to 21,700 in 2012 – auto insurance won’t become entirely obsolete.

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“We don’t see that accidents are just going to go away,” said Chris Hayes, vice president of transportation risk control at Travelers Companies Inc., which recently hosted an auto safety symposium in Connecticut. “Technology is great. It’s going to keep making us safer. But the human element is always going to be a part of the vehicle.”


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