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Automatic braking cuts down rear-end collisions by 43 percent

Drivers in Florida may be curious about the benefits of advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking. This, combined with a forward collision warning system, alerts drivers to the risk for a crash and, if the driver does not respond in time, can brake for the driver. More and more vehicles come with it, and 20 automakers have pledged to make it standard on all their vehicles by September 2022.

A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that automatic braking is effective in preventing rear-end collisions. Though researchers limited themselves to 2013-2015 GM models, they found that those models that were equipped with automatic braking and forward collision warning were 43 percent less likely to be in front-to-rear collisions than models unequipped with it.

Equipped vehicles were in 64 percent less rear-end collisions involving injuries. Those models that have forward collision warning but no automatic braking also fared better than their "dumb" counterparts, reducing the number of rear-end collisions by 17 percent and that of rear-end collisions involving injury by 30 percent.

This shows that drivers, alerted by the forward collision warning system, can at least mitigate the severity of a crash if they cannot entirely avoid one. A previous study on Acura, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru and Volvo vehicles showed that rear-end collisions go down by 50 percent.

Still, safety features are not meant to replace drivers but only to assist them. If drivers become negligent behind the wheel and cause an auto accident, those who are injured through little or no fault of their own may be able to file a claim. A lawyer might hire third parties to investigate the crash and determine a fair amount for a settlement. If negotiations don't go well, the lawyer may prepare the case for a trial.

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