Automatic Emergency Braking Systems to Become Standard Features on New Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced that some 20 automakers, representing a 99% share of the American market, will be making Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) systems a feature included on nearly all new vehicles. While many new cars currently come with the feature installed, the automakers collectively committed to make it a standard feature by the fall of 2022.

AEB systems use lasers, radar, or cameras to detect objects in the car’s path. If the driver fails to brake, brake a sufficient amount, or take other evasive maneuvers, AEB systems can either apply the brakes or increase the brake pressure to avoid a collision. These systems first became available as far back as 2000, when the first car sold on the American market—a Mercedes Benz—had such a system installed. While initially only available on luxury vehicles, AEB systems have become more common in recent years. AEB systems can be designed to prevent: higher-speed crashes, detecting objects farther ahead on the road; lower-speed crashes, such as in city traffic; and pedestrian crashes, by scanning for person-sized objects and tracking their movement to determine if they might be in the road when the car approaches. A related feature is the Front-Crash Warning, or Forward-Collision Warning (FCW) system, which uses similar road-scanning technology to determine if a crash may be imminent. FCW systems cannot, however, automatically apply the brakes in the car, but instead warn the driver that evasive maneuvers are necessary to avoid a collision.

The IIHS has conducted research on crash involvement for cars with both FCW and AEB systems, and found that both bring safety advantages to drivers. According to the study, cars with FCW systems were involved in 23% fewer crashes that required police involvement than cars without such a system. Cars with AEB systems saw an even more dramatic reduction in crashes, being involved in 39% fewer accidents, and 43% fewer injury accidents. The IIHS has estimated, based on these results, that there would have been 700,000 fewer crashes and 300,000 fewer injury crashes in 2013 alone if all cars came equipped with these features.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash with a careless driver in South Carolina, contact the dedicated and trial-ready Spartanburg personal injury attorneys at Anderson, Moore, Bailey & Nowell, LLC for a free consultation, at 864-641-6431.