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Automakers agree to add automatic braking systems by 2022

In a voluntary agreement brokered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, automobile manufacturers have committed to including automatic emergency braking systems on almost all vehicles by 2022. As these safety systems become more common, motorists in Georgia could expect to see a reduction in rear-end crashes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that the technology could prevent 20 percent of car crashes. With approximately 5 million car accidents happening every year, this reduction could lead to 1 million fewer accidents every year. Automatic braking technology prevents accidents because it activates the brakes for inattentive drivers who do not push hard enough on the brakes or who do not apply the brakes at all. Researchers have calculated that driver inattention contributes too many accidents. In 2012, researchers associated inattentiveness with approximately 87 percent of deaths and injuries from read-end crashes.

The administrator of the NHTSA said that the voluntary agreement with automakers about adding automatic braking technology to vehicles is exciting. Legally binding rules would be a lengthy process of eight years or more. The automakers signing onto the agreement build 99 percent of light vehicles on the U.S. market.

Until automatic braking systems become widespread, driver distraction will continue to cause car accidents. When a reckless driver inflicts serious injuries on another person, the victim could work with an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney could assemble evidence from accident reports and medical records to illustrate the extent of the person's damages. The evidence could be presented in court by the attorney. When the court rules in favor of the victim, the attorney might handle negotiations for the settlement or obtain legal access to the driver's assets to compensate the victim.

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