Can automatic emergency braking systems reduce accidents?


December 29, 2021 / Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents can have a devastating impact on the lives of crash victims and their families. Not only do they experience fear and uncertainty, but there can also be huge medical bills, time off work, and ongoing pain and suffering. That’s why government agencies and advocacy groups are always on the lookout for ways to make vehicles safer, often employing technology and autonomous, smart-vehicle innovations to enhance manufacturing methods.

Automatic Emergency Braking systems (AEB) are one such measure. The installation of AEB systems is part of a voluntary commitment by 20 automakers globally to equip virtually all new passenger vehicles with low-speed AEB that includes forward collision warning (FCW). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been monitoring the progress of automakers toward this goal, which includes all new passenger vehicles being equipped with AEB by September 1, 2022.

So, if you’re wondering “Can automatic emergency braking systems reduce accidents?”, the answer is yes. AEB systems help reduce the severity of crashes — or help prevent crashes altogether — by autonomously applying the brakes in imminent collision situations. AEB are particularly effective in preventing front-to-rear and pedestrian collisions. AEB systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras, and lasers to detect an imminent crash risk, warn the driver, and even apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action.

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that GM cars equipped with AEB saw crashes drop 43% (compared to the same cars without AEB) and injuries in these types of crashes fell 64%. In another study, IIHS found that AEB and forward collision warning (FCW) prevented more than 40% of semi-truck rear-end crashes.

What are the benefits of automatic emergency braking?

There are several benefits provided by AEB and FCW systems. These autonomous systems allow technology to take over and prevent crashes rather than relying on human action alone. Some of the benefits include:

  • Sound and visual warnings to drivers
  • Automatic deceleration
  • Immediate autonomous braking when collision danger is detected.

There is no doubt that AEB systems prevent crashes and thereby reduce the frequency of vehicle crash injuries.

How many lives has automatic braking saved?

According to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), more than 80% of the 1,700 deaths and half-million injuries a year in rear-end crashes could be avoided or mitigated if all vehicles had automatic emergency braking systems.

While no one knows exactly how many lives automatic braking has saved, experts overwhelmingly agree that ABS paired with FCW significantly reduces the incidence of some types of collisions and the injuries associated with these. ABS represents a giant step forward in vehicle safety and accident prevention.

Driver assistance technologies, like ABS and FCW, hold the potential to reduce traffic crashes and save thousands of lives each year. In 2019, 36,096 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S., according to NHTSA, and many of these crashes were tied to human error. By installing autonomous, smart-vehicle systems like ABS, the deadly effects of human error can be minimized.

Types of injuries in car accidents

For motorists unlucky enough to be involved in a vehicle accident, crashes can result in several types of injuries. These include:

  • Concussion
  • TBI
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Burns
  • Cuts, lacerations, and road rash
  • Psychological injuries such as PTSD, phobias and depression
  • Paralysis
  • Wrongful death.

These injuries can take weeks or months to heal, requiring multiple medical procedures, tests, treatments and hours in hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Damages you may be entitled to after being injured in a crash

There are several types of damages you can sue for if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a vehicle accident. Some of these are more obvious than others. Damages can include:

  • Past, present and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Loss of consortium (claim filed by a spouse)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Wrongful death.

A skilled and experienced car accident attorney can review your case, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and determine which damages you may be entitled to.

Is there a statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit?

Yes. In Indiana, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two (2) years from the date of the accident. The statute of limitations is codified at Ind. Code § 34-11-2-4. That’s why it’s very important to file a claim as quickly as possible after sustaining your injuries. You don’t want the clock to run out. If you miss the window of time to file a claim, you likely will have little legal recourse.

Things you should do immediately after a vehicle accident

If you or a loved one is injured in a car or truck accident, here is a list of things you should do immediately after the crash:

  • Call 911 and request that police and emergency medical personnel come to the scene.
  • Get immediate medical treatment for any injuries.
  • Exchange license and vehicle information with the other driver.
  • Answer a police officer’s questions succinctly, but say as little as possible to the other driver, and never discuss fault or blame for the accident.
  • If witnesses are present, get their names and contact info.
  • If you are able, use your cell phone to take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene.
  • Do not sign any paperwork offered by the other driver, trucking company or insurance company representatives.
  • Contact a car accident attorney to represent you.

Your safety and well-being are the most important and immediate priorities after a vehicle crash. Allow yourself to be treated by first responders and emergency room doctors if needed.

Contact the car accident attorneys at Stephenson Rife today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is especially true if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. You don’t have to suffer alone. The attorneys at Stephenson Rife can help you get the justice you deserve. To find out more, call us for a free initial consultation at (317) 680-2501.

Attorney Mike Stephenson

Attorney Mike StephensonMike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, and fire, just to name a few. He also works extensively in construction accidents. [ Attorney Bio ]

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