Do Front Crash Prevention Systems Reduce Accidents?

With the constant (and accelerating) evolution of technology, the products, devices, and machinery we use in our daily lives are changing like never before. In fact, it seems that everything is getting “smart,” from phones to TVs to refrigerators. Automobiles and semi-trucks are no different.

Industry is constantly looking for ways to increase automobile safety (and reduce liability). One idea that has made its way into some motor vehicles is the front crash prevention system.

In this article, we’ll discuss this technology and whether it can help prevent car accidents.

What Is a Front Crash Prevention System?

You may see front crash prevention systems referred to by a variety of names, such as “forward collision warning system,” “forward collision avoidance system,” “precrash system,” or “collision mitigating system.”

The concept of these systems is to detect objects in a car’s path before a crash occurs so that an accident can be avoided, or at least reduced in severity.

By using sensors and radar (and/or lasers), the system can detect the presence of objects in front of a vehicle, make calculations based on speed and the location of the object, and determine if danger is present.

If so, different prevention systems have different capabilities. At the least, a warning is issued to the driver. Hopefully, it comes early enough that a collision can be avoided or lessened.

Some systems can pre-charge the brakes, while some systems can actually engage the brakes.

Are Front Crash Prevention Systems Effective?

A number of organizations have performed studies on the effectiveness of these systems.

As recently as November 2018, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) reported on a study of General Motors vehicles equipped with front crash prevention systems. The results were favorable. Drivers of vehicles equipped with both a forward collision warning system and an autobrake capability reported 43 percent fewer front to rear collisions to police. There were 64 percent fewer such crashes resulting in injuries.

For cars without autobrake capability, the results were positive, but less so than for those cars equipped with autobrake. Front to rear crashes overall were reduced 17 percent. Injury crashes were reduced 30 percent.

These positive results were not unexpected. An earlier IIHS study had involved Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat-Chrysler, Acura, Volvo, and Subaru. For cars with both front crash prevention and autobrake, it found a 50 percent reduction in front to rear crashes of all severities and a 50 percent reduction for crashes with injuries.

With front crash prevention only, the reductions were 27 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Where Do We Go from Here?

According to IIHS, 20 automobile manufacturers, which account for the manufacture of 99 percent of cars sold in the U.S., have agreed to install emergency automatic braking systems in most new cars by late 2022. This is certainly a positive development for those concerned with safety on the roads of Oregon and across America.

Unfortunately, even with these positive changes, many years will pass before all drivers will have new enough vehicles to contain these systems.

Call with Questions

At Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, we are always excited to see society take steps to make everyone safer. Unfortunately, there are always drivers who, regardless of the safety features implemented on a motor vehicle, will act with negligence and endanger their fellow drivers.

If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, it’s only normal to have questions. Our experienced personal injury lawyers would be happy to answer those questions for you - just give us a call. We know that the only way to keep our roads safe for law-abiding drivers is to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.


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