A new regulation proposed in May by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would require new vehicles to come equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. These systems detect potential collisions and automatically apply the brakes to lessen the impact of a crash — or avoid it altogether. NHTSA estimates that the new regulation could prevent at least 360 deaths and 24,000 injuries annually.
This technology has been available on many automotive models for years, but it hasn’t yet been mandated. If the new regulation is adopted as proposed, it would require almost all US passenger vehicles and light trucks to have AEB systems three years after the publication of a final rule. In addition, NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced in June that they plan to require AEB technology on heavy vehicles as well.
What Exactly is AEB Technology?
AEB is just one of many new automotive technologies making cars safer for everyone on the road. It typically works in conjunction with forward collision warning (FCW) systems that use radar, cameras, and other sensors to detect obstacles — like objects, pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles — to prevent crashes. The proposed NHTSA regulation specifically requires AEB systems to recognize and avoid pedestrians even at night.
Designed to reduce accidents caused by human error, AEB kicks in when drivers don’t. The technology alerts drivers with visual or sound warnings if there is an imminent danger of collision. If the driver fails to respond, the system automatically applies the brakes to slow down or stop the vehicle before a crash occurs. The system can also supplement the braking force applied by the driver if needed to avoid the collision or reduce the severity of the impact.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), automatic emergency braking reduces rear-end crashes by 50% and injury-causing rear-end crashes by 56%. Another driver-assistance technology known as blind spot detection reduces lane-change accidents by 14% and injury-related lane-change accidents by 23%.
Can a Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
While AEB and other technological advancements can help reduce traffic crashes, they can’t prevent them altogether. If you have been injured in a car accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced local attorney. The aftermath of a collision can be emotionally and financially draining, but a skilled car accident lawyer can help you alleviate some of the stress and seek the compensation you deserve.
The knowledgeable attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP have been representing people injured in car accidents for over five decades. We can assist you in navigating the complex legal system, negotiating with insurance companies, and recouping some of your financial losses. You may qualify to recover damages for bodily injury, car repairs, lost wages, and even the death of a family member. Call us toll-free at 800.481.6199 or contact us online 24/7 for a free consultation with an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney.