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Study: Honda warning system cuts insurance claims
By Insure.com staff

Crash-prevention technology available on the Honda Accord is reducing car insurance claims, according to a new analysis by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

The study, the first of its kind on a high-volume, non-luxury vehicle, yielded better-than-expected results, the institute said.

Honda's combined forward -collision and lane-departure warning system reduced insurance claims for damage to other vehicles by 14 percent and cut claims for injuries to occupants of the equipped vehicles by 27 percent. Claims for injuries to other road users declined 40 percent.

"This is a warning system only, but the claim frequency reductions are similar to what we saw earlier for systems with automatic braking," HLDI Vice President Matt Moore said in a press statement.

Previous studies of forward collision warning without autobrake showed more modest claim reductions. Lane departure warning was associated with increases in claims in earlier studies, though none was statistically significant, the institute said.

Automakers first built advanced crash-avoidance technologies into luxury vehicles but now they are offering them as options on mainstream cars and SUVs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides front crash prevention ratings for many models, and a basic or higher rating is a requirement for the institute's highest award, Top Safety Pick Plus.

A forward-collision warning system like the Accord's that meets government criteria qualifies for a basic rating. Systems that include an autobrake function can earn an advanced or superior rating, based on performance in two tests.

For the study of the Honda features, HLDI looked at both two-door and four-door versions of the 2013 Accord, as well as the 2013 Crosstour, an SUV built on the Accord platform. Insurance losses were compared for Accords and Crosstours with and without the features.

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