finally have frontal airbags by 2016. This
comes many years after manufacturers
began adding them in meaningful numbers in the mid-1980s. 6
Analysis of the share of vehicles by
model year and by loss coverage, as well
as an estimation of the ‘take-up’ rate of
crash avoidance systems based on availability and consumer purchase suggests
the impact on auto claims to date has
been relatively small (see Figure 3).
So while there is certainly an antici-
pated reduction in automotive claim
frequency over the next 25 to 35 years
because of the introduction of crash
avoidance systems and the much- antici-
pated emergence of self-driving vehicles,
the primary question remains ‘how fast
will it happen?’
A rapid ramp up in new vehicle sales
where more are equipped with these sys-
tems could dramatically shift into over-
drive this trend. However, economic
growth is still slow, auto sales are antici-
pated to peak at 16 million annually, and
scrappage rates are at historic lows. 7
Of the numerous factors that have
helped drive down frequency over the
last 20 years—such as aging drivers, fewer
miles driven, more growth in urban areas,
emergence of car-sharing programs, the
recession, and so forth—the adoption
of these systems has the likelihood of a
sharper ramp up the decline in automo-
tive claims frequency.
1 CCC Information Services Inc.
2 “Safe Repair: Repair Methods – Are they
what they are supposed to be?” Thatcham
Research News, Volume Three, Issue 9, October 2008, p. 2–3.)
3 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Status
Report, May 20, 2010.
4 Sedgewick, David. “Crash prevention to get
easier on car shoppers’ wallets.” Automotive
News, August 1, 2011.
5 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “
Estimated Time of Arrival.” Status Report, Vol. 47,
No. 1, Jan 24, 2012, p. 1.
6 Ibid., p. 2.
7Manheim Consulting, U.S. Department of
Transportation, R.L., Polk, and Experian.
Susanna Gotsch is lead analyst at CCC
Information Services Inc. and the author of
its Crash Course Report series.
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Potential Impact on Frequency for
All Losses as Collision Avoidance
Systems are Adopted
Projections based on
annual rate of change
between 2010 and 2013
– may accelerate
based on market
adoption and system
–10% –8% –6% –4% –2% 0%