A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety into the effectiveness of sophisticated automobile accident prevention and avoidance systems has found that this technology may reduce rear-end collisions in California and around the country by as much as 40 percent. The nonprofit research organization compared the collision rates of cars with no accident avoidance system, those with a system that provided drivers with an audible warning and those with an automatic braking system.
The IIHS researchers analyzed crash data culled from police reports filed in 2013, and they concluded that equipping every car in the country with a system that provided drivers with an audible warning would reduce the number of rear-end collisions by 23 percent. Systems that automatically apply the brakes were found to be effective around 40 percent of the time. These findings indicate that automatic braking systems could potentially prevent 700,000 rear-end collisions and a number of severe injuries every year.
As more and more research points to the effectiveness of accident avoidance systems, the pressure on lawmakers to make the technology mandatory will likely grow. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been advocating for crash prevention systems for several years, and the safety agency announced in September 2015 that car makers and the IIHS had joined them in calling for regulatory changes.
Rear-end collisions often cause painful whiplash injuries that can take months or even years to fully recover from. While this type of motor vehicle accident could occur as a result of mechanical failure, reckless behavior such as texting while behind the wheel is far more likely to be the cause. Those injured due to negligent actions may seek remedies in civil court, and personal injury attorneys could initiate litigation on their behalf.