Automatic emergency braking reduces collisions, study shows

Drivers in Illinois weighing their new vehicle options may want to look for models with automatic emergency braking, a safety feature that has proven to be effective at reducing collisions, according to results from an Insurance Institute For Highway Safety study. The study looked at 10 popular models released by General Motors over a two-year period.

After receiving VIN numbers for all of the models that were to be evaluated, IIHS researchers looked through reports of car accidents to compare accident frequency between vehicles with AEB and those without it. Two levels of protection are offered by the manufacturer - one that only alerts drivers of a possible collision without taking any further steps and one that automatically applies the brakes to minimize or prevent an impact.

Overall, vehicles with both systems experienced nearly 45 percent fewer rear-end collisions than those without added braking assistance. Rear-end strikes with any injuries were reduced by 64 percent, and there nearly 70 percent fewer rear vehicle impacts with third-party injuries when automatic emergency braking was employed. This is the latest study to confirm that automatic emergency braking systems are highly effective at reducing accidents and crash severities.

These results are encouraging given the fact that there were more than 2 million rear-end collisions in 2016 alone. "Rear-enders" accounted for about a third of all types of crashes that occurred in the United States that year. All major automobile makers have pledged to make AEB standard by 2022.

If a car accident is caused by negligence, an attorney can make an effort to identify responsible parties. An injured crash victim could be eligible for damages through a personal injury claim. If negligence is provable, a lawyer could make an effort to seek a fair settlement with all involved parties.

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