A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that automatic braking systems reduce rear-end collisions by around 40 percent on average. Thus, regulators, safety groups and some automotive manufacturers are pushing the implementation of the technology in new cars.
The research found that vehicles featuring both forward collision warning and automatic braking systems had a 39 percent lower incidence of rear-end crashes. In fact, it was found that forward collision warning systems alone slashed rear-end collisions by 23 percent.
When combined, crash-prevention technologies cut the occurrence of rear-end collisions involving injuries by 42 percent, but authors of the study found that collision warning alone had little effect in minimizing injury accidents.
Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research, is surprised that forward collision warning did not show more of an injury benefit considering that insurance data found huge reduction in injury claims.
Furthermore, the study concluded that if all vehicles could alert drivers of an impending crash and automatically apply the brakes, some 700,000 crashes could have been prevented in 2013 or almost 13 percent of all police-reported crashes that year.
IHS says that for the 2015 model year, only one percent of vehicles included automatic braking as a standard feature, while 26 percent offered it as an option. However, the technology is rapidly gaining mass acceptance.
In 2015, in an agreement brokered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and IIHS, a group of ten automotive manufacturers decided to ultimately make automatic braking systems a standard feature on new cars. Since then, other automakers have joined the deal according to NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.
In a statement, David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer, said that as this technology becomes more mainstream, they could anticipate seeing fewer rear-end crashes and the same goes for the whiplash injuries caused by these crashes.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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