Audi Tops the Luxury Car Safety Charts in 2023
Audi conducts significant research and development in-house, allowing it to bring technologies to market at a lower price point than its rivals
Safety is becoming more important to luxury car buyers. Wealthy individuals want vehicles that will protect themselves and their passengers.
However, it isn’t always clear which brand offers the best safety profile. Now, though, figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal a winner – the German automaker Audi.
The NHTSA looked at the rate of crashes per 1,000 drivers and found that Audi had a crash rate of just 0.54, putting it below tech leader Mercedes at 0.55 and far from Subaru which was up at 0.75.
The question on many people’s lips is why Audi is so safe. After all, Mercedes is the manufacturer that tends to bring the latest safety technology to market first.
The main reason appears to be the brand’s heavy investment in safety technology in recent years. The company conducts significant research and development in-house, allowing it to bring technologies to market at a lower price point than its rivals. Drivers benefit from comprehensive safety features across the range instead of solely on high-end models.
Are Advanced Safety Features Necessary?
Previously, skeptics scoffed at the value of advanced car safety features, calling them gimmicky. However, the evidence suggests that it is effective, especially in recent years. Advanced driver assistance systems are finally coming of age and having a noticeable impact on the number of insurance claims. Data from LexisNexis Risk Solutions suggests that bodily injury claims are 27 percent lower with these systems, and property damage claims are 19 percent lower.
These statistics are good news for drivers. It means that they can expect statistically different outcomes driving Audi vehicles than conventional cars. It represents a genuine upgrade.
Car accident attorney Adam S. Kutcher is at the forefront of the consequences of vehicle collisions. The lawyer has tremendous knowledge of how vehicle accidents can cause harm.
“The people that come to us are real people who are often going through the most challenging time in their life,” he says. “People worry about who will pay their medical bills and lost wages, even if insurers agree to pay to replace vehicles. That’s why this new technology is so exciting for everyone who practices in this area. We don’t want to see people getting hurt. Instead, we want to make sure everyone stays safe and that as many people avoid this harrowing experience as possible.”
Currently, tort law is helpful to victims of car accidents through additional provisions in the legal code. But the reality is that many people never recover from their injuries and can’t go back to work, regardless of the medical care they receive.
“We can sometimes get big rewards for people seriously injured in car accidents, but financial compensation is only ever partial,” says Kutcher. “Money can’t fix a disability or even a tragic death in the family for an auto accident. That’s why car manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and investing in this technology.”
The Components Of Advanced Driver Safety Systems
Advanced driver safety systems refer to a plethora of technologies car manufacturers are including in their vehicles thanks to advances in software and chip technology.
Automatic emergency braking is one of the most coveted features. Vehicles can now brake independently of drivers if they believe a crash is imminent, preventing rear-end shunts and jackknifes at interchanges.
Manufacturers have gradually increased the range of situations in which this technology will activate over recent years. Previously, it was solely to stop drivers from bumping into the car ahead, but now cameras can detect cross-traffic, even when reversing, and apply brakes automatically.
Blind spot detection is another critical technology. Vehicles now provide drivers with warnings if there is a car in their blind spot and will sometimes prevent them from leaving their lane if another vehicle is present, even if they turn the steering wheel.
Forward and rear collision warnings are also becoming more widespread. These tell drivers whether another driver is likely to hit them, giving them an opportunity to take evasive action or brace.
Audi also equips its vehicles with a clever pedestrian detection system. Computers and sensors analyze the road ahead, looking out for people walking out into the street, even from behind parked cars. Vehicles will automatically brake if they believe a crash is likely.
Finally, many vehicles with advanced driver safety systems also have adaptive cruise control. This feature matches the vehicle’s speed to the traffic ahead, speeding up and slowing down without any driver input necessary. It’s a safety feature because it eliminates human error from the equation. Drivers are far less likely to cause harm.
Should You Get A Luxury Car With Advanced Safety Features?
The big question, of course, is whether you personally should get a luxury car with advanced safety features. For many drivers, once they try these features, they never want to go back. That’s certainly true of professional Lyft and Uber drivers.
However, the systems are expensive. Microchips are in short supply and these technologies have billions of dollars of sunk costs automotive manufacturers need to recover.
“We’d obviously like to see more people choosing to use advanced safety features in their vehicles,” Kutcher admits. “But when you see the pricing, it is clear that the industry has a long way to go before the technology becomes universal.”
Repair costs are also an issue. An AAA study found that cars with automatic braking, lane departure warnings, and blind spot monitoring require additional maintenance steps that conventional vehicles do not. Cars are simply too complicated for the average mechanic and need specialists with the proper tools. Fixes are not simple.
Even so, those who make the jump to these technologies almost always say it’s worth it. And that’s why premium European brands like Audi are so keen to include them in their new vehicles. Luxury isn’t just about comfort. It also includes a degree of safety.
Surprisingly, more than one in ten drivers switches off their vehicle’s safety systems, preventing them from working. Perhaps regulation will prevent this from happening in the future.
For more automotive related reads, click here.