Cars with front crash prevention systems are significantly less likely to rear end other cars, according to the latest research released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While front prevention crash systems remain optional, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the IIHS have agreed to work with car manufacturers to make autobrake equipment a standard on all new models.
This is the first study examining the safety effectiveness of front end crash prevention systems. The IIHS used U.S. police crash data from 2010 to 2014 to analyze rear end crashes and determined that if all vehicles involved in crashes had been equipped with autobrake and front end crash prevention systems, there would have been 700,000 less rear end crashes. The research looked at rear end crashes in 22 states and analyzed front crash prevention systems offered in Acura, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru and Volvo models. Crash rates were compared with the same models which did not have front crash prevention systems.
The study also found that cars with automatic braking systems reduce rear end crashes by approximately 40 percent and those with only forward collision warning systems reduce rear end crashes by 23 percent.
“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.”
An issue noted with this study and others like it is that it can be difficult to isolate one auto safety system’s results, since most are offered in conjunction with other safety equipment. For example, the IIHS noted that lane departure warning systems were packaged with front crash prevention systems on the Hondas, Subarus and some of the Volvos included within the study.
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