Safety features to reduce rear-end crashes

California drivers might be interested in learning about the latest findings from a study that indicates that front crash prevention systems can actually reduce the number of rear-end collisions. Thought not available as a standard feature on most vehicles yet, these systems might be an indication that roads can be safer if the right technology is installed in vehicles.

The study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety used data from police-reported rear-end collisions occurring between 2010 and 2014 in more than 20 states to calculate the impact of front crash prevention systems. The results were significant. Vehicles that had front crash warning systems installed would have resulted in a 23 percent reduction in rear-end collisions, while those that also had automatic braking systems would have produced a 40 percent reduction. This means that there would have been approximately 700,000 fewer police-investigated rear-end accidents in 2013 if all vehicles had these kinds of systems installed.

While these systems are currently being offered as optional features, this might soon change, since the NHTSA and the IIHS have announced a preliminary agreement with automakers that would eventually make the autobrake feature standard in all vehicle models. The feature is important not just as an accident prevention mechanism, but also as a way to prevent and decrease whiplash injuries that are often the result of rear-end accidents that cause pain and lost productivity.

Rear-end crashes are sometimes caused by inattentive drivers who cannot slow down fast enough in a slow-down in traffic ahead. The prevention systems with autobrake would both warn the driver of the issue, and, if necessary, brake for the driver to avoid the collision. However, the drivers or passengers of the vehicles involved might still be injured. In those cases, the injured victims might await the conclusion of a police investigation to find out which driver was liable for the crash, and to decide to file a personal injury claim.

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