DISTRONIC PLUS and Brake Assist PLUS, the Mercedes-Benz assistance systems based on sophisticated radar technology, make an effective contribution to accident prevention. This is the conclusion reached after an analysis carried out by Mercedes-Benz on the basis of representative accident research data. With the help of this technology an average of one fifth of all rear-end collisions could be prevented in Germany alone. And on motorways, rear-end collisions could be reduced even further: by an average of 36 percent. The Mercedes-Benz systems warn drivers when they are maintaining too little distance from the vehicle travelling in front and provide support in the event of emergency braking.

Engineers working for the Stuttgart-based car manufacturer have developed a procedure which for the first time makes possible a predictive calculation of the usefulness of new safety technologies. For this the specialists have taken into account both official statistics and the analysis of the approximately 16,000 traffic accidents which have so far been studied within the framework GIDAS (German In-Depth Accident Study).

The evaluation of the safety potential offered by the DISTRONIC PLUS and Brake Assist PLUS assistance systems is based on the reconstruction of more than 800 rear-end collisions. The focus of the representative study was the question: how many of those accidents could have been avoided if all the passenger cars had been equipped with this Mercedes-Benz technology?

The results confirmed the great safety effect of the systems: with DISTRONIC PLUS and Brake Assist PLUS an average of more than 20 percent of all rear-end collisions could be prevented. In a further one-quarter of all collisions the systems could contribute to a significant reduction of the severity of the accident.

The greatest safety potential is offered by the interaction of modern radar and braking technology on motorways, where around 36 percent of all rear-end collisions could be avoided.