Automatic Emergency Braking Systems Will Soon Become Standard Features on American Cars

In an announcement recently made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), twenty auto manufacturers which represent 99% of the American motor vehicle market have committed to including Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems in essentially all their vehicles by September of 2022. The NHTSA and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have touted this commitment as a major step forward in driver and passenger safety.

AEB systems are designed to scan the roadway in front or to the side of a vehicle using lasers, cameras, or radar to determine the presence of any objects or pedestrians with which the car could collide, and to brake the car or increase braking power when the car’s driver is not braking sufficiently. AEB systems have been available on a limited basis in American cars since the first Mercedes Benz model came equipped with such a system in 2000. Since that time, the systems have rolled out to cars made by other luxury manufacturers and have become increasingly common on mid-level cars in recent years.

Similar to the AEB system is the Front-Crash Warning (FCW) system, also known as the Forward-Collision Warning system. While AEB systems have the ability to bring the car to a stop, FCW systems issue an alert to the driver that a crash appears imminent if the driver fails to take evasive maneuvers. FCW systems are generally found to be less effective than AEB systems in preventing accidents, though they have still been found to decrease involvement in collisions.

AEB systems come in several forms: higher-speed (designed to detect objects further ahead on the roadway), lower-speed (designed to prevent crashes on city roads), and pedestrian (designed to identify moving humans in or near the road, and predict whether the car will collide with the person based on the speed of each).

Research shows that these systems could have an enormous impact on the number of rear-end and other car crashes occurring in the US. In a study conducted by the IIHS on vehicles with AEB and/or FCW systems, the researchers found that, among cars equipped with AEB systems, crashes which resulted in police involvement were reduced by 39%. Cars equipped with only FCW systems saw a smaller drop in crash involvement, but were still able to reduce crashes by 23%. Injury crashes among cars with both FCW and AEB systems went down by a full 43%. Based on these findings, the IIHS estimates a drop in collisions nationwide on the order of 700,000 each year, with 300,000 fewer injury accidents.

If you have been injured in a car crash or truck accident in Alabama, contact the experienced, compassionate, and trial-ready Dothan personal injury attorneys at Cobb, Boyd, White & Cobb for a free consultation, at 334-677-1000.