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Advanced Auto Safety, but at What Cost?

Advanced auto safety in self-driving car

Extra costs for advanced auto safety features may seem like a small cost to pay for the safety of your most precious cargo on the road, and you may not even realize what you are paying for automated driver assistance systems (ADAS) because they are factored into the total price of the car. However, you will come to notice just how much those systems cost if you ever get into a wreck that damages these high-tech safety features. The cost of car repairs has gone up significantly with the incorporation of these technologies, so even if you got a great deal on that new car, sticker shock may still set in if you have to take your car to the shop after a collision. Learn more below about these increased costs. Given that new technologies can distract us on the road, drive attentively and defensively, purchase plenty of insurance, and get a good lawyer if you get in a wreck caused by another driver’s negligence or distracted driving.

Sensors Are Everywhere and Are More Expensive

If you have a car with all the latest ADAS bells and whistles, then you have cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors strategically positioned on the front, rear and sides of your car. In fact, no matter where you get hit, a crash is likely to damage a sensor along with the car’s body, upping repair costs by the thousands. Rear-ended? That’s another $1,300 for the parking assistance ultrasonic sensors in the bumper, and another $2,050 for rear radar sensors monitoring your blind spots and providing those annoying yet helpful rear cross-traffic alerts when you’re backing up. Maybe you were the rear-ender and damaged your own front-end. Get out your wallet for $1,300 to replace front radar sensors essential for automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. As for the sides of the vehicle, sensors in the side mirrors provide valuable around view monitoring, but the sensor alone costs $1,100 to replace. If you live in a crowded city where street parking is a must, you may have already experienced the pain of replacing a clipped mirror, which can cost close to $1,000 to replace even without the sensors (hint: you can save hundreds by making this a DIY project if you’re handy with a screwdriver and have an hour to kill; replacing the mirror requires taking the door apart on the inside because of that cable that lets you adjust the mirror electronically, which is not as daunting as it may sound).

Windshields Have Sensors as Well

Yes, today’s safe cars even have sensors embedded in the windshield glass, making a windshield replacement cost about three times as much as it used to. An ADAS windshield is loaded with sensors for automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning/lane keeping. Total cost to replace windshield sensors is estimated at $1,900 (cost of replacement windshield not included). As for the windshield itself, factory glass can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $1,650, and aftermarket glass is only slightly less at $1,200 to $1,600, according to glass.com.

Time was your insurance company would be more than happy to send someone out to repair a chip or crack in your windshield for free, thereby avoiding the need for a full windshield replacement as the crack grows over time. Now even a small crack in the glass, even if once repairable, may require a full windshield replacement if the defect damages any of the sensors embedded in the glass.

Cost for Advanced Auto Safety

In case you weren’t keeping a running tally, that’s a combined total of $7,650 to replace these sensors. These facts and prices were put together by a AAA study that sampled costs from three top-selling vehicles. The figures given above show the upper end of repair estimates; at the low end, these combined repairs total $3,600. Hopefully you would never be in a wreck that damaged every sensor in your vehicle (hopefully, you’ll never be in any wreck at all) but remember, these costs are just the additional costs to replace ADAS technology and don’t include all the other costs to repair a damaged vehicle.

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