Braking technology could prevent 20 percent of car accidents

A rear-end crash on a California road can be an annoyance as the driver in the front vehicle deals with damages, possible injuries, and the red tape involved in filing an insurance claim. On a national level, the number of injuries and deaths each year because of this type of accident can be quite high. Research has shown, however, that a large number of serious rear-enders could be curbed through automatic braking technology. An agreement has been reached between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and most of the nation's auto manufacturers, and it is aimed at making this a standard vehicle feature by 2022.

The agreement will provide for automatic braking to be incorporated into 99 percent of light vehicle models for the American market. There are some areas in which additional time may be granted because of technological challenges, including in autos that feature manual transmissions. Although the agreement is not legally binding, the matter is expected to provide motorists with better outcomes in cases that could normally be quite serious.

One former administrator of NHTSA notes that the agreement may be insufficient for achieving the desired results. Her concern is that the matter was not handled in a public manner. Further, the lack of legally binding terms could backfire if a manufacturer fails to abide by the agreement. However, it has been noted that a legally binding rule could take several years to formalize.

Rear-end collisions can be particularly serious when they are caused by a motorist who is distracted by a cellphone or who is otherwise negligent. Legal assistance may be advisable when a person who has been injured as a result is seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

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