Nearly all of the carmakers comprising the U.S. auto market have agreed to include automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems as
standard features “on virtually all new cars” by September 2022, according to a recent announcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This historic agreement, which includes 20 major auto manufacturers, reflects what the NHTSA is calling an “unprecedented commitment” to deliver vital safety technology to far more U.S. motorists in a more efficient manner than “would be possible through the regulatory process.” In fact, regulators have noted that, if developing an AEB mandate was to come from the formal NHTSA regulatory process (rather than a voluntary agreement):
- The compliance process could take at least three years longer to achieve the same results.
- Over those three years, the new agreement will effectively prevent at least 28,000 motor vehicle accidents (and the approximately 12,000 or so injuries resulting from them).1
Background on AEBs
Representing a remarkable advance in vehicle safety technology, automatic emergency braking systems can detect an impending front-impact crash, alert drivers to the risk, and, if drivers do not respond appropriately, take action to try to avoid or mitigate the impact.
Currently, AEB systems come in two forms:
- Dynamic brake support (DBS), which supplements drivers’ braking efforts when they aren’t sufficient to stop the vehicle and avoid a crash
- Crash imminent braking (CIB), which automatically applies the brakes when the system detects that drivers are not responding to the imminent risk of a crash.
Given that about 33 percent of all motor vehicle crashes that are reported to police involve rear-end collisions, AEBs have a significant potential to reduce the incidence of (and/or damaged caused by) one of most common types of traffic accidents.
Reactions to Historic AEB System Agreement
Regulators, industry leaders and safety advocates have all expressed support for the AEB agreement.
Elucidating the potential impacts of this agreement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has stated:
It’s an exciting time for vehicle safety. By proactively making emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent thousands of crashes and save lives… It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.
Similarly, IIHS Board Chairman Jack Salzwedel has stated:
IIHS member companies strongly support the adoption of effective safety technologies…Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles.
Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.
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1: According to estimates from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)