New technologies are making drivers safer than ever on Texas streets and highways. One of the most important advances in the automotive field is the development of automatic braking systems. These safety features are expected to be included as standard equipment on 99 percent of all new U.S. vehicles starting in 2022. Cars, pickup trucks and SUVs equipped with automatic braking could help prevent Houston auto accidents and the injuries and damages caused by these events. Here are five important facts every driver should know about modern automatic braking systems.
Fewer Rear-End Crashes Occur with Automatic Braking Systems
A 2016 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that automatic braking systems reduced the incidence of rear-end crashes by an average of 40 percent. This amounts to about 700,000 fewer rear-end crashes per year, which could prevent numerous injuries caused by these traffic accidents. The IIHS estimates that automatic braking systems were available in about 20 percent of passenger vehicles in 2014; that figure is double the reported number for 2013.
Automatic Braking Is Not Just for Luxury Cars Anymore
While accident avoidance systems are still most often found on high-value cars and SUVs, more automakers are looking into providing these advanced technologies on all the cars they sell. In March 2016, a coalition of 10 major automakers agreed to begin adding automatic braking systems to their vehicles on a gradual basis. Subaru and Mazda are among the first mid-priced vehicle manufacturers to offer automatic braking as part of their available options packages. This can help consumers stay safer on the road without breaking their available car-buying budget.
Big Rigs Still Not in Line for Automatic Braking
The over-the-road trucking industry could see significant improvements in safety and accident reduction by implementing automatic braking systems. Unfortunately, the systems currently available for tractor-trailer vehicles have produced uneven results.
Volvo Trucks Global has had some success with a system it calls Collision Warning/Early Braking; however, these new technologies are not expected to make an impact on the road for some time to come.
Many Systems Work Together to Achieve Automatic Braking
An array of technologically advanced sensors and computing systems are required to ensure the proper function of automatic braking systems. Sensors used in these collision avoidance systems may use some or all of the following technologies:
- Infrared scanning
- Ultrasonic obstacle detection
- Radar scans
Some automatic braking systems also receive information from GPS systems installed in the vehicle to determine where cross streets and stop signs are located, providing even more protection for drivers.
Automatic Braking Does Not Replace Driver Attention
Depending on the type of obstacle ahead, driver reaction times can sometimes be better than the automatic brake system’s sensors and computers. These systems are intended to provide added assistance for drivers rather than replacing the need for vigilance and care on the roadways. When used as a backup for drivers, however, these systems are an excellent way to increase the safety of drivers and passengers on the road. When combined with other collision avoidance and driver alert systems, automatic braking can help to keep Texas drivers safer.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident, contacting a Houston auto personal injury lawyer can provide you with the expert representation you need to achieve a fair settlement for your case. Houston car crash attorneys are experienced in the strategies used by insurance companies to delay or avoid paying out on valid claims. Additionally, these legal professionals can protect your interests both in out-of-court negotiations and in the courtroom setting. Retaining the services of a qualified and knowledgeable personal injury attorney can be the first step toward obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and damages after a Houston auto accident.