Car Safety and Insurance Savings Study

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If the type of car you drive is reported to be in a high number of car accidents, you will pay more for car insurance. Sports cars, driven mostly by young males who like to drive fast, cost more to insure, for example. 

Rates on all types of car insurance, from liability coverage to collision and comprehensive coverages, increase for cars with high numbers of fatalities. Smaller cars see a very strong relationship between car safety and car insurance rates because they are more vulnerable to fatalities.

Meanwhile, Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) are growing in popularity, from $27 billion in 2020 to $83 billion by 2030, according to research by MarketsandMarkets. Car insurance is cheaper on cars that rate well in crash tests, but ADAS is taking safety and accident prevention to another level. However, insurance companies are not always responding by lowering rates.

See what you can do to lower car insurance rates.

Key Takeaways

  • You may earn up to $10 or more if you have an ADAS system with a suite of safety features.
  • Safety systems are great for professional drivers and those who want to prevent accidents as much as possible.
  • To save significant amounts of money on car insurance, drive a used car that is cheaper to insure due to high safety ratings.

Do I Earn a Discount for Car Safety Features?

Cars that cost more to fix are more expensive to insure, and that includes safety equipment, like backup cameras and sensors. So, you may earn a discount for having safety features, but you’ll also pay more in premiums for having them, especially in newer models with low replacement part availability. According to a study by AAA, a minor incident can add up to $3,000 in extra repair costs.

How effective are these features? A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) said that “If every vehicle sold in the United States in 2015 was equipped with blind-spot monitoring, 50,000 crashes and 16,000 crash injuries might have been prevented.” That’s pretty effective!

For safety features, insurance companies offer anywhere between 10% and 20% off certain coverages.

Safety features include:

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Car alarm
  • Backup camera
  • Lane departure warning
  • Park assist
  • Collision prevention system
  • Driver alertness monitoring
  • Night vision
  • Active disabling device
  • Passive disabling device
  • Tracking device
  • Electronic stability control
  • Heads up display
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic braking
  • Cross-traffic alert
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Road sign recognition

What’s the Best Way to Pay Low Car Insurance Premiums?

Buy Used

As your car ages, your rates will decrease because parts will be more readily available and less expensive than newer parts. Buying a used car will lower your car insurance quite a bit, especially if it is a model that has performed well in crash and other safety tests.

Safety Features

Buying a car with safety equipment helps lower the chances of having an accident. By taking preventative measures with the safety features, you will prevent your rates from rising due to an accident. However, having a car with an ADAS system will also raise your rates because the car will be more expensive than without safety equipment.

Insurers do not give discounts for most ADAS systems but do for car alarms and certain safety features. However, when a car is not highly associated with car accidents, it has a high safety rating, which lowers car insurance rates. Convoluted, right? In short, an ADAS may indirectly lower your car insurance rate if your car make has high safety ratings.

According to a 2018 survey by AAA, three out of four drivers find safety features to be helpful. They said they trust the advanced tech features and want it in their next vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) verify the effectiveness of safety features too.

Telematics Car Insurance

Telematic devices are a proven way of reducing your car insurance costs, too, much more than safety features, so consider switching to a car insurance policy that tracks your driving and mileage for the highest discounts.

Tack on Discounts

Have the insurance agent go through each type of discount they offer. You can save up to 20% on premiums if you qualify for a bunch.

Drive a Car That Is Cheaper To Insure

Manufacturer Make Average Insurance Rate
Honda Pilot $56.63
GMC Acadia $91.12
Honda Civic $92.23
Nissan Rogue $161.02
Subaru Crosstrek $177.77
Chrysler 300 $192.65

*Rates based on SmartFinancial’s quoting data

Compare Insurance Rates

All of the experts agree that the most dramatic way to lower your car insurance cost is to compare prices with at least four or five different insurance companies. There are more efficient ways to gather these quotes, and preferably on the same day since rates change. You can get started by entering your zip code on this page and answering a few questions. The service is free, and you’ll find out who will give you the best deal. You may save up to 40% on premiums by comparison shopping.

Find Out What You Could Save On Car Insurance

Car Accident Fatalities and Thefts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were 3,178 fatalities on the road in 2022, down from 4,161 in 2021.

In 2020, there were 810,400 car thefts in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports. Theft is up nearly 12% since 2019.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety verify the effectiveness of safety features.

Newer Vehicles With Highest Driver Death Rates

Vehicle Type

Deaths Per Million (2020 models and 2018-2021 equivalents)

Mitsubishi Mirage


Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback


Dodge Challenger 2WD


Hyundai Accent


Chevrolet Spark


Kia Rio sedan


Dodge Charger HEMI 2WD


Nissan Altima


The Safest New Cars for 2023

  • Acura Integra
  • Honda Accord
  • Genesis G90
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry

Why Are Drivers Not Awarded Bigger Discounts for Anti-Theft and Safety Features?

Until the most recent safety features stand the test of time and show a decrease in car wrecks and thefts, insurance companies are reluctant to award bigger discounts. As it stands now, safety features are awarded anywhere between $0 in savings to an average of $10 off premiums. Surprising, since drivers tend to feel less at risk with the added safety features. So far, it looks like fatalities have dropped in the past year, so we may have discounts to look forward to in the future!

Insurance companies only offer anywhere between 10% and 20% off certain coverages that are lumped together in a premium.

Who Should Drive a Car With an ADAS System?

  • Professional drivers
  • Uber/Lyft drivers
  • Food delivery drivers
  • Drivers wanting to reduce chances of accidents and property damage

Car Safety and Insurance Savings FAQs

How much can I save by having car safety features?

As counterintuitive as it may seem, insurance companies are, for now, only discounting an average of $10 from premiums for ADAS systems. Discounts may increase as more studies confirm that safety features are effective in preventing fatal crashes.

Are some cars cheaper to insure even due to safety features?

Yes, the Honda Pilot rates the lowest in SmartFinancial’s quoting system because of high safety ratings. It offers many safety features, which is probably why it’s not associated with many car accidents.

What’s measured in a car safety rating?

Two items are measured in a car safety rating: crashworthiness  (low fatalities after a crash) and crash avoidance and mitigation, which measures how easily and well a car can avoid an accident.

Whether you have an old car that has limited safety features, you can save money on car insurance by comparing rates. If you have a newer car model with an ADAS system, you may earn a discount but your car may be expensive to insure. Everyone benefits from shopping around for a lower car insurance rate. Just enter your zip code on this page and answer a few questions to get free competing rates in minutes.


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