How car safety tech could reduce backup crashes

West Virginia residents, especially those who are thinking about purchasing a new car, should know that current safety tech is cutting down on the number of backup crashes. While backup collisions are only one type of accident, the fact remains that they can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities, particularly among children.

One report found that vehicles with rear automatic braking report 62 percent less backup crashes than vehicles without the technology. The feature is an option on only 5 percent of new vehicles. If rear automatic braking is combined with rearview cameras and sensors, chances for a backup crash go down by 78 percent.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has tested the effectiveness of having these three features. It gave superior ratings to the 2017 Subaru Outback and Cadillac XT5 SUV for their ability to avoid collisions and reduce speed. Four other vehicles received advanced ratings, but one failed to stop automatically and backed into a dummy car parked at an angle.

Reverse automatic braking is currently used to avoid collisions with obstacles, but soon the technology may be developed to avoid pedestrian crashes. Automatic braking for the front will become standard in the U.S. by 2022. Rearview cameras became standard on all new vehicle models in May 2018.

Even with these safety features, drivers can engage in negligent behavior and cause accidents. A victim could file an insurance claim against the at-fault party's auto insurance company and, if successful, be compensated for property damage, medical expenses, income lost during the physical recovery and more. A lawyer could handle negotiations and assist with litigation as a last resort.

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