In an effort to reduce the number of traffic deaths and injuries annually in the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced it will soon require new vehicles to come equipped standard with automatic emergency braking systems if they are to be given a 5-Star Rating for safety. brakes

The new mandate will begin with model year 2018. It’s worth noting that while the 5-Star Rating System is in place for “recommended safety technology,” auto manufacturers do not legally have to include it. However, when a vehicle has a 5-Star Rating, it’s a useful marketing tool. Consumers want vehicles that are safe.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) technology relies on in-vehicle sensors to detect when a crash is imminent, warn the driver and, if necessary, engage the brakes. Using lasers, cameras and radar, the technology is mostly geared toward prevention of rear-end collisions, as well as other scenarios where drivers fail to apply the brakes in time to avoid a crash.

Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, has stated that AEB systems have the ability to “substantially” bolster safety, particularly in light of the sheer number of distracted drivers on the road. Florida officials have estimated a quarter of all accidents in the Sunshine State can be attributed at least in part to distraction.

The announcement came on the heels of an “historic” commitment in September by 10 auto manufacturers promising to make AEB a standard feature in all new vehicles.

This kind of initiative is important because, as our Miami car accident lawyers well know, this type of safety technology is typically only available with the most expensive models of vehicles. That means that although there are features available that can save lives, the majority of Americans don’t currently have access to it. That puts us all at risk. By making the technology a standard feature, all road users benefit.

Those motor companies are:

  • Volvo
  • Volkswagen
  • Toyota
  • Tesla
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mazda
  • General Motors
  • Ford
  • BMW
  • Audi

We know that the majority of crashes are the result of driver error. Technology such as AEB can help to mitigate the danger of those mistakes because unlike the driver, who may be fatigued or distracted, the systems are always on alert.

Consumer Reports recently evaluated a number of AEB systems available, with the director of auto testing concluding the technology was the “biggest safety advancement since the introduction of stability control,” which was introduced more than 20 years ago.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in a joint statement with the NHTSA, noted that this move could reduce insurance claims by more than a third. That’s because accidents would either be avoided or the severity of an accident could be curtailed, resulting in less severe injuries. A report by the National Transportation Safety Board indicates AEB technology could result in prevention of 80 percent of all rear-end collisions, which could save an estimated 1,700 lives and 500,000 injuries annually.

Another previously-recommended technology that recently became standard in 2012 is the electronic stability control. Rear-view cameras and lane departure warning systems are also going to be required as of 2018.

If you have been a victim of a traffic accident, call Chalik & Chalik at (954) 476-1000 or 1 (800) 873-9040.

Additional Resources:

U.S. DOT to add automatic emergency braking to list of recommended advanced safety technologies in 5-Star Rating system, Nov. 2, 2015, Press Release, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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