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Anti-collision and autobrake systems reduce crashes

By looking at police-reported rear-end crash data from 2010 to 2014 across 22 states, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has determined that if all cars in West Virginia and nationwide had had autobrake systems in 2013, there would have been at least 700,000 fewer of those types of incidents. The study found that there was an average reduction in rear-end crashes of around 40 percent in cars with an autobrake system and around 23 percent if the vehicle only had a forward collision warning system.

An autobrake system also brings down injury rates. Crashes with injuries were down 42 percent if a car had a forward collision warning system plus autobrake. A similar study by Volvo of its own system found a 47 percent reduction.

There are some difficulties in studying the effectiveness of systems that prevent front collisions. One is that cars with this optional feature generally have other safety systems as well such as adaptive cruise control. However, that requires activating unlike the automatic safety systems. In 2015, the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said they had made an agreement in principle with car manufacturers to start making safety technology such as autobrakes and forward crash collision systems a standard part of the car rather than an optional extra.

Most motor vehicle accidents are the result of human factors. Increased safety technology will reduce the likelihood of those accidents, but they will continue to happen as long as there are drowsy, drunk or otherwise negligent drivers. Someone who has been injured in a rear-end collision caused by another motorist may want to have the assistance of an attorney in seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

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