How Safety Features Affect Front and Rear Crash Rates

April 21, 2016

Vehicles with front crash prevention are not as likely to cause rear accidents as vehicles that do not have this safety feature. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported this in their study about the effectiveness of the feature, which was based on crash data from police departments.

If systems have automatic braking safety features, they are 40 percent less likely to be in rear accidents. Forward collision systems reduce the likelihood of accidents by almost 25 percent. Although they were not quite as significant in making a difference, automatic brakes also helped reduce crashes and injuries.

Experts cited front crash prevention as a major step toward road safety. They expect to see less of these accidents as the technology continues growing in popularity. Although the technology is growing and becoming prevalent, it is still only offered as an optional feature on most vehicle models. However, this may be changing soon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced recently that an agreement was in the works with auto manufacturers to make this safety feature a standard inclusion on all vehicle models.

By using police reports for their research, these organizations are able to better identify the causes of front-to-rear crashes and measure the effectiveness of safety features. This is especially true with the front crash prevention system. Researchers used reports from 22 different states for their comprehensive analysis, and several makes of vehicles were included for a more uniform result.

Researchers found that having both a forward collision warning system and automatic brakes reduced the likelihood of a crash by nearly 40 percent. Rear crash likelihood decreased by almost 50 percent with these features when combined with the city safety feature. Experts said that when crashes could not be avoided, automatic brakes still provided a good chance of reducing the amount and severity of injuries by lowering the speed of impact. However, they were still surprised that forward collision warning features did not yield a more significant prevention result.

One of the difficulties faced by researchers who were studying optional front crash prevention features was how those features were paired with other features. This made it slightly more difficult to determine the effects of individual safety features. For example, many of the vehicles had adaptive cruise control but used sensors for detecting vehicles to the front for calculating safe following distances.

Safety features offer benefits beyond protection on the road. They can also help drivers lower their auto insurance premiums in some instances. To learn more about safety features and insurance, discuss concerns with an agent.


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