Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a study that confirmed what many already suspected: the main reason for rear-end collisions is driver inattention. And yet the prevalence of driver inattention is still surprising. In a separate NHTSA study from 2007, researchers discovered that nearly 50% of two-vehicle crashes are rear-end crashes, and that drivers were inattentive to the upcoming traffic nearly 90% of the time. In yet another study, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that inattentive drivers played a critical role in nine serious crashes investigated between 2012-2014.
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a study that confirmed what many already suspected: the main reason for rear-end collisions is driver inattention.
Fortunately, there’s a silver lining to this problem. As early as 1995, the NTSB has been encouraging the development and adoption of automotive technology that prevents and mitigates such crashes. Today, the efforts of the NTSB and others have helped make the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) one of the fastest-growing automotive technologies over the past decade. In 2015, ten major vehicle manufacturers committed to making autonomous emergency braking a standard feature on all new vehicles. Just three years later, many ADAS components are now widely available on late-model vehicles and new vehicles and will continue to be the premiere safety feature for the future.
As ADAS technologies become more common on vehicles, repair opportunities will grow. Moving forward, it will be imperative for shops and technicians to be ready to service these repairs when they arrive in their bays, especially considering that many ADAS parts are expensive, generate profit, and can be damaged by even minor collisions.
For example, blind spot detection sensors notify drivers to obstacles in their blind spots. Typically located on both corners of the rear bumper, the sensors tend to be damaged by minor rear-end collisions and even inaccurate parking. Cruise control distance sensors measure the distance to the leading vehicle to drive both the adaptive cruise control system and emergency braking system. Because the sensors are located in the front of the vehicle (usually behind the lower radiator grill), they’re easily damaged by minor impact to the front of vehicle. Lane departure sensor cameras notify drivers if the vehicle leaves a lane without a turn signal activated. Typically located on top of the windshield between the rearview mirror and windshield, the cameras can be damaged by both extreme sun load and objects that hit the windshield in the location point.
In order to provide professional technicians with the coverage and quality they need to take advantage of the growing ADAS repair opportunity, we are committed to aggressively expanding our line of ADAS categories throughout 2018. In addition to providing high-quality parts, we are proud to offer training for ADAS repairs. Later this year, our Pro Training platform will debut its “Driver Assist System Overview” on-demand class available at pts.smpcorp.com.