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Seven Best Cars for Front Crash Avoidance

Insurance Institute rates the best collision avoidance systems.

by on Sep.27, 2013

The Volvo S60 is one of seven cars to earn a "Superior" rating in the new test of collision avoidance systems.

While you’ll have to wait until at least the end of the decade before the first autonomous cars come to market, a large number of 2014 models are already being equipped with technologies designed to help motorists avoid impending collisions – or at least reduce the chance of death or injury if one occurs.

They go by a variety of different names, from Volvo’s City Safety to the Mercedes-Benz Distronic Plus, and all use cameras, laser, radar or sonar sensors to key on eye on traffic ahead – some systems even able to react to pedestrians and large animals. And since they don’t blink and won’t get distracted by an incoming phone call or kids in the back seat, these collision avoidance systems often can react faster than a motorist can to a potential problem.

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But which are the best? That’s what the folks at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety set out to determine. The IIHS is best known for its crash testing, issuing its own ratings and often stepping out ahead of federal regulators with new test standards. This time, however, the industry trade group wanted to know what systems were, indeed, most effective at avoiding those crashes.

And the IIHS says it found seven models that proved particularly effective at avoiding – or at least reducing the effects of – a frontal collision.