IIHS study finds automatic-braking cuts collisions by 39 percent
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has just released its latest, and most significant, study to date regarding the efficacy of front-crash prevention systems. It’s the first by IIHS to be based on actual crash data reported by U.S. police and discovered that the incidence of rear-end collisions was reduced by nearly 40 percent on vehicles equipped with automatic braking systems compared to those without the feature. The number was reduced by a still impressive 23 percent on vehicles that were only equipped with some form of forward collision warning.
To come up with those figures, the IIHS research team sifted through police-reported data on rear-end crashes in 22 states during the 2010-2014 time window using involving various Acura, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru and Volvo vehicles with optional front-crash prevention systems versus those that did not have the technology. In addition, they performed a separate analysis of Volvo’s standard City Safety low-speed autobrake system comparing the S60 and XC60 to competitive sedan and SUV models that had no standard front crash systems.
According to the organization, if all vehicles surveyed had been fitted with autobrake packages that were as effective as the ones on those studied, there would have been “at least 700,000 fewer police-reported crashes” in 2013, representing a 13-percent drop. Equally notable, the IIHS analyses found auto-braking systems have a significant impact on reducing injuries, which drop by 42 percent with forward collision warning/autobrake and 47 percent with the City Safety setup.
"The success of front crash prevention represents a big step toward safer roads," says David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer. "As this technology becomes more widespread, we can expect to see noticeably fewer rear-end crashes. The same goes for the whiplash injuries that often result from these crashes and can cause a lot of pain and lost productivity."
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