Rear-end collisions are top causes of whiplash and other serious injury. Damage can occur even at relatively low speeds when one vehicle strikes the back of another. Prevention of this type of accident is important to try to keep motorists safe. Motor Trend reported recently on how technology is helping to reduce rear-end crash rates.
While the development of in-vehicle safety technologies have made cars safer and could have a major impact on crash prevention, technology is not foolproof and problems can arise even when tech tools are used. Drivers should embrace new features which make their cars safer, but must never forget it is ultimately their responsibility to pay careful attention and avoid car accidents.
New Technologies Are Reducing Rear-End Collision Rates
The technologies which are helping to reduce rear-end crashes include forward collision warnings as well as automated braking systems which work in emergency situations. These technologies are considered part of front crash prevention systems. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted studies to determine how well the technologies worked and the data is promising.
Preliminary research from information gathered by reviewing data reported by police suggests rear-end crashes are being reduced by as much as 40 percent due to front emergency braking systems. Forward collision warnings which alert motorists to an impending rear-end crash have also reduced the rate of rear-end collisions by approximately 23 percent.
Researchers reviewed data from police reports in 22 different states which covered accidents from between 2010 and 2014. The researchers looked at crash rates involving both vehicles equipped with front-crash prevention systems and the same models of vehicles without such systems installed. Researchers determined which types of cars had crash prevention systems by looking at trim levels. The crash rates for cars with the systems installed were compared with crash rates for vehicles which did not have rear-end crash prevention data included.
The chief researcher for IIHS called the success of these crash avoidance systems: "a big step forward towards safer roads." Not only did the research indicate fewer rear-end crashes had occurred in cars equipped with crash prevention technology, but it also revealed there were fewer serious injuries when accidents did happen. Automatic emergency braking reduced crash injuries by 42 percent, and forward collision warnings reduced crash risks by six percent.
The technology which has proved beneficial in reducing crash risks is becoming increasingly common, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced it has entered into an agreement with both IIHS and automakers to move forwards towards making auto-braking in emergency a standard feature on all vehicle models.
Hopefully, this technology will become more prevalent and will actually continue to work to reduce crash rates. Drivers, however, can and should still work towards rear-end crash prevention on their own- which means leaving a safe following distance and paying attention to what the car in front of them is doing.