California drivers who have vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems are much less likely to strike another vehicle from behind, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study focused on General Motors vehicles, but other studies have focused on Volvos and Subarus and come to similar conclusions.

Automatic emergency braking, or AEB, systems are designed to warn drivers of impending front-end crashes and automatically apply the brakes if the driver fails to take evasive action. In order to see if this technology actually reduces accidents, IIHS researchers asked GM to provide VINs for Buicks, Cadillacs and Chevrolets made between 2013 and 2015. Some of the vehicles had AEB systems, some did not. Researchers then cross-referenced the VIN numbers with police-reported crash data to find out how often vehicles with and without AEB systems were involved in rear-end striking collisions.

The study concluded that GM vehicles with AEB systems were 43 percent less likely to be involved in rear-end striking crashes than GM vehicles without the technology. Further, GM vehicles with AEB systems were 64 percent less likely to be in rear-ending striking collisions that resulted in injuries and 68 percent less likely to be in rear-end striking accidents that caused injuries to a third party. According to automakers, AEB systems will be standard on all new cars and trucks by 2022.

In 2016, there were approximately 2.4 million rear-end crashes on U.S. roads, accounting for one-third of all car accidents. When an individual is injured in a car wreck caused by another person, he or she has the right to pursue compensation in civil court. After filing a personal injury lawsuit, the victim might be awarded a financial settlement for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related losses.

By Maho | Prentice, LLP Attorneys at Law on December 4, 2018