We Need This To Happen Now
Even though safety advocates have been fighting for years to prevent rear end collisions, the auto lobby has fought back.
It was recently announced that the deadline for automatic braking systems has been delayed for up to eight years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a voluntary agreement which would make automatic emergency braking standard in most new cars in six years. It will take eight years for heavier SUVs and pickup trucks to have this technology.
But the NHTSA announced with great fanfare in November that its 5 Star Rating System would be required in 2018. Many major manufacturers, including GM and Ford, promised to add this technology quickly.
The failure of the government and auto industry to take faster action to insure our safety is troubling.
After all, auto makers already have the technology for automatic braking and every one knows that it greatly reduces the number and severity of auto and truck crashes.
Berenson Injury Law has noted for years that the case load of personal injury lawyers has dramatically increased due to rear end collisions caused by distracted driving and DWI’s, among other negligent acts.
How Does Auto Braking Work?
An automatic braking system does not relieve the driver of the obligations to pay attention, drive the speed limit, keep brakes in working order and otherwise act responsibly. However the safety system responds should a driver make an error or react too slowly to an impending obstacle.
The system uses cameras, lasers, and radar to detect a slowed or stopped vehicle or other obstacle ahead. It alerts the driver of the obstacle so he or she can take corrective action and if the driver fails to respond, the system automatically applies the brakes to slow or stop the vehicle. If the driver’s attempt to brake is insufficient, dynamic brake support kicks in to supplement the driver’s corrective actions.
The automatic braking system reduces the severity of the accident by slowing the car down, and in many instances the safety feature allows the driver to avoid the crash in the first place.
How Will This New Safety Feature Protect You?
Approximately 1.7 million rear-end crashes happen every year in the United States, resulting in more than 1,700 fatalities, 500,000 injuries and $47 billion in costs in 2012.
Half of these collisions could be avoided or mitigated if cars contained automatic braking systems or a warning device that alerts drivers of an impending crash.
Many vehicles already come equipped with automatic emergency braking. 17 of the most popular models include this as standard equipment and 71 models offer the safety feature as part of an optional package.
At least by agreeing to make the system standard, this will no longer be considered a luxury item, but the vital safety feature that it is, like anti-lock brakes and airbags were many years ago.
So unless you’re Lindsay Lohan, as a talk show host quipped, most rear-end crashes will no longer happen in the future. That’s good news. But there shouldn’t be so much foot dragging.
We Are Here To Help You
If you have been involved in a automobile or truck collision, please contact us at 817-885-8000 or 1-888-8585 or online.