Will Automation Put the Brakes on Rear-End Accidents?

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Front-crash collision systems such as automatic brakes and collision warnings have been demonstrated to be highly effective in preventing rear-end accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reviewed data to determine how effective these newer types of collision avoidance systems are and found that they greatly reduce the rates of rear-end crashes. An auto accident attorney represents victims of rear-end collisions to help them to recover damages when they have suffered injuries and financial harm.

How Effective Are Front Collision Systems?

Front collision warning systems have sensors to detect other vehicles or objects ahead of the vehicles in which they are installed and alert the drivers of their presence so that they can react in time. Automatic braking systems detect other vehicles and objects and automatically apply brakes to the vehicles to help them slow down in time to avoid collisions.

Early research about collision avoidance systems was conducted using information from insurance claims. While this data continues to be useful for studying crash avoidance technology, it has its limitations. To more accurately determine how effective these systems are in preventing accidents, the IIHS reviewed police reports from accidents and evaluated how front crash warning systems and automatic braking systems relate to the rate of rear-end collisions. The IIHS found that vehicles that are equipped with automatic braking systems had 39 percent fewer accidents. Those that had front-crash warning systems without automatic brakes were involved in 23 percent fewer collisions than vehicles that did not have these types of collision avoidance technologies.

What the Data Means

The IIHS states that if all vehicles had the front crash collision avoidance systems installed in 2013 during the study period, there would have been 700,000 fewer accidents and 300,000 fewer injuries. The efficacy of these systems has led the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recommend that they are offered as standard equipment on all new vehicles. Until the industry is required to offer these types of systems on their cars, people who are in the market for new vehicles can choose models that have the systems already installed or add them as options.

While safety technology will not prevent all accidents, its availability may help people to avoid them. Since motor vehicle collisions may result in significant injuries or deaths, taking steps to prevent them and implementing the use of advanced technology is important.