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Automatic braking lowers backup crash rates, IIHS states

Automatic braking systems can sense obstacles ahead of time, alert the driver to them and apply the brakes for the driver in the case of an emergency. Drivers in North Carolina may want to know just how effective these systems are, especially if they own a new car that's compatible with such technology.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently studied the effects of automatic braking systems on back-up collision rates. This is important because front automatic braking systems usually get more attention; in fact, they will become standard features on most cars by 2022.

The IIHS found that cars equipped with rear systems can cut down backup collision rates by 62 percent. That number becomes 78 percent if the systems are enhanced with rear-view cameras and sensors. While they focus on avoiding other cars, the systems may soon be developed to the point that they detect pedestrians as well. This is crucial because rear collisions can be fatal, especially for children.

Automatic braking systems have yet to become a regular feature. Only 5 percent of new vehicles offer them, and even then, they often come in highly priced safety packages. Starting May 2018, however, all American-made cars will be required to come with rear-view cameras.

Drivers who can afford the technology should purchase it to avoid getting in a car accident through their own negligence. Victims of such accidents have the right to file a personal injury claim, but before they do so, they may want a lawyer to evaluate the case. Insurance companies may point to contributory negligence as grounds for rejecting the claim. After gathering proof of the defendant's guilt, a lawyer may be able to negotiate for a settlement.

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