A plan to include major safety technology in more vehicles was announced by The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Sept. 2015, and it seems like this plan will become a reality as automakers intend to install automatic braking systems for emergencies in the vast majority of U.S. vehicles. Ten automakers have agreed to a deal with the NHTSA to have the systems installed by Sept. 2022.
These systems work in situations where a driver cannot or does not brake in order to prevent a crash. Companies like Ford, Toyota, Fiat, Honda and more have agreed to install the safety technology, and the NHTSA wanted automakers to agree to include this technology instead of waiting until they were mandated to include it. As part of the deal, automakers were given more time to add the systems in vehicles like manual transmissions where there could be technical challenges.
Automatic braking systems are estimated to be able to prevent at least 20 percent of automobile accidents annually. There are about 5 million accidents each year, so approximately 1 million crashes could be prevented thanks to this technology. These systems could be especially helpful in crashes linked to driver inattention, which accounts for 87 percent of rear-end accidents. The 1,705 fatalities and 547,000 injuries that occurred in 2012 due to rear-end collisions could have been lessened or prevented if the vehicles involved had collision avoidance systems.
Driver inattention takes place when a motorist is not paying attention to the road, and this could involve distractions such as texting and driving. When distracted driving causes a wreck, a motorist could be responsible for damages suffered by victims. This could include medical expenses for moderate to even catastrophic injuries along with property damage and lost wages from time off work. A lawyer may be able to help victims deal with insurance companies and with the negligent party who caused the accident.