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Automatic emergency braking reduces accidents, IIHS study finds

Drivers in Texas who regularly get behind the wheel in vehicles with automatic emergency braking (AEB) technology can take comfort in knowing that they're benefiting from an effective safety feature. This is the big takeaway from a study by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), which focused on crash data related to 10 vehicle models from a leading U.S. auto manufacturer over a two-year period. The automaker supplied IIHS researchers with VIN numbers, so they could comb through available accident data to compare crash frequency in autos with and without the AEB systems.

The manufacturer referenced in the IIHS study offers two types of brake protection systems. One type of system will alert drivers to impending car accidents without intervening beyond that point. The other technology applies full brake stopping power automatically to either prevent an impact entirely or minimize the collision's severity. Vehicles with these emergency braking capabilities were involved with 43 percent fewer rear-end crashes than vehicles without brake alerts or full emergency braking systems when all accident severities were considered.

Additionally, AEB systems reduced occurrences of rear-end collisions with injuries by 64 percent. There were also nearly 70 percent fewer rear-enders involving third-party injuries in AEB-equipped vehicles. Overall, there were more than 2 million rear-end crashes in 2016, which accounted for roughly a third of all vehicle collisions that year. Interestingly, the results from this IIHS study are similar to the outcomes that were seen in previous studies involving emergency braking systems. All automakers have pledged to make AEB a standard option on mainstream models by 2022.

An attorney may assist victims of car accidents if there is a possibility that negligence may have been involved. Making this determination typically involves looking at police reports, cell phone or traffic cam footage and witness accounts of the incident. If there is evidence suggesting negligence likely contributed to an accident that injured a driver, passenger or pedestrian, a lawyer might seek appropriate compensation for medical costs and lost wages. In some instances, a vehicle manufacturer may be held responsible if safety features like AEB failed to work as intended.

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