Just when you thought auto technology couldn’t get any better, the luxury car brands (think Audi, Lexus, and BMW) have since introduced automatic braking – an innovative and programmed safety feature designed to prevent car accidents.

Automatic braking has been around for several years, but evidence of its success in accident-avoidance hasn’t been proved or disproved. But now, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released findings this week that provides evidence of success rates surrounding automatic braking technology.

In their findings, IIHS found that “a version of automatic braking in Volvo SUVs prevent one out of four low-speed crashes,” according to reports by USA Today. With such a high success rate, automakers and safety experts alike are eager to introduce automatic braking in all kinds of vehicle makes and models – transcending the luxury market to the everyday person. After all, safety is for everyone.

Taking automatic braking to the highway

But what about high speed crashes like those on highways and freeways? Unfortunately, auto accidents that occur on roads with higher speed limits can introduce an increase in personal injury and even risk of wrongful death. Since automatic braking is relatively new technology, no data supports that automatic braking has prevented any high-speed accidents. But researchers are still hopeful – if results from low-speed tests are as promising, they hope high-speed study results will have the same positive findings.

“This is the first report we have confidence in,” says IIHS President. “This is a very hopeful sign, and it does indicate that at least one of these new technologies is working.”

As a part of the study, the IIHS also observed instances of whiplash and car body damage in accidents occurring with speeds no greater than 20 miles per hour. The study “provided encouragement” to researchers who hope to find similarly promising results in their higher-speed test models. Ultimately, the IIHS hopes the study results will “spur rulemaking by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)” that will eventually require automatic braking a requirement in all new car models.

Until then: use our roads responsibly

Until automatic braking becomes a standard option on all vehicles, use these reminders to practice safe driving right now. While technology can always aid our advancements in safety, it’s ultimately our good driving habits that can put an end to car accidents and risk of injury.

  • First rule of thumb: never drink and drive. Do the right thing – call a cab, arrange a designated driver, or join a Safe Ride program.
  • Observe traffic laws – even the “little” ones. Don’t forget, traffic laws are in place to protect you. Traffic laws often ignored (turning right on a “no turn on red” light, failure to use a turn signal, or speeding through a yellow light) can turn into a car accident – be careful, and tend to all traffic laws no matter how “small” they may seem.
  • Use the 3 second rule. Be sure you maintain at least 3 seconds between you and the car ahead of you. How can you tell? Simply locate a stationary object on your course of route – a light post, for instance. As the vehicle ahead of you passes the light post, count to 3 seconds. Your vehicle should be approaching or just passing the light post. The 3 second rule ensures you have enough time and space to brake in time to avoid a collision.

About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC

Since 1992, San Diego personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC have been fighting for the people. Michael Pines, founder, is an Accident & Injury Prevention Expert and has been helping injured people seek fair recovery after accidents occur. For a free legal review of your case, call us at 1-858-551-2090 or use our online contact form.

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