Data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that front crash prevention technology is highly successful. The findings provide further support for advocates of in-vehicle collision avoidance technologies. The National Transportation Safety Board included such devices in its Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements for 2016.
According to U.S. police reported crash data, automatic braking systems reduce the chances of rear-ending another vehicle by roughly 40 percent. Forward collision warning technology reduced rear-end crashes by 23 percent. The study concluded that implementation of these devices on all vehicles would have reduced the number of rear-end crashes in 2013 by 700,000.
Last year, the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reached an agreement in principle with automakers regarding the technology. The goal of the agreement is to see automakers include autobrake technology as standard equipment on all models. At present, most vehicles that can be equipped with autobrake only offer it as an option. This and other safety features are often grouped with other, unrelated features, such as leather seats, that make them cost prohibitive for some consumers. The IIHS and NHTSA are hoping to see the technology adopted universally without the need for passing legislation mandating its inclusion.
Front crash prevention technology is useful for combating some of the growing problems in auto safety. Distracted driving is on the rise, due to a number of factors. One of the consequences of this is more rear-end crashes. Drivers who aren’t paying attention are prone to rear-ending vehicles if traffic slows or a light changes while they are preoccupied. While it would certainly be better for all drivers to pay attention to the road and avoid distractions, technology geared toward reducing the injuries caused by these wayward drivers is likely a safer bet to succeed.
Source: IIHS.org, “Front crash prevention slashes police-reported rear-end crashes,” 28 January 2016