New lifesaving automotive technology is about to become standard on most vehicles sold in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and 20 automakers have pledged to make automatic braking a standard safety feature on passenger vehicles and light trucks by 2022. Automatic braking systems use cameras, radar and software to detect potential collisions.
Presently, only 17 vehicle models utilize automatic braking as a standard feature. Standard features are included with the purchase of a vehicle, meaning consumers will not have to pay extra.
What types of accidents can automatic braking help prevent? By requiring automatic braking on new vehicles, thousands of people could possibly avoid serious injuries or death caused by rear-end accidents. NHTSA statistics show an estimated 1.7 million rear-end accidents cause 400,000 injuries each year.
How Could Automatic Braking Prevent Rear-End Accidents?
We have previously discussed how drowsy and distracted driving can cause car accidents. Automatic braking could be a possible safeguard against these poor driving behaviors. Imagine a motorist glancing down at his or her phone, unable to see a traffic jam several hundred feet ahead. Automatic braking may help avert disaster by stopping for the distracted driver.
Other types of rear-end accidents involve much larger vehicles. Underride accidents involving semi-trucks are often fatal. These types of accidents occur when passenger vehicles collide with the back of semi-trucks, forcing cars underneath truck containers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, underride guards on semi-trucks rarely function as intended. Automatic braking may be a shortcut for protecting motorists from underride accidents.
Louisiana drivers were recently ranked as ‘fifth worst in the nation’ by a carinsurancecomparison.com, a website that uses NHTSA data to rank states on driving safety. If the results of this study are true, our state may have a lot to gain once new cars start universally adopting automatic braking.
Galloway Jefcoat is a Lafayette personal injury law firm with years of experience representing people who have been harmed by negligent auto manufacturers.