Report: NHTSA set to include automatic braking as a safety feature

To help cut down on the number of car wrecks, injuries and deaths, the NHTSA plans to add automatic braking as a recommended safety feature.

In 2015, there were 476,913 motor vehicle collisions across Tennessee, according to the state’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Many such crashes result in serious injuries or even death for those involved. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has started taking steps to help cut down on the number of accidents that occur on the roads and highways throughout the U.S. In another step towards this goal, the regulatory agency recently announced its intention to add automatic emergency braking as a recommended safety feature for all new automobiles.

What are automatic emergency braking systems?

Automatic emergency braking is a type of advanced crash avoidance technology. These systems detect impending rear-end collisions. Automatic emergency braking not only alerts the driver to the potential danger, but it engages to help prevent wrecks if drivers do not take corrective action, according to the NHTSA.

This technology is generally comprised of two systems, crash-imminent braking and dynamic brake support. Crash-imminent systems apply vehicles’ brakes when drivers do not maneuver to avoid a collision. Dynamic brake support systems supplement a driver’s attempts to stop if he or she has not applied sufficient brakes to avoid crashing.

Updating safety ratings

Beginning with model year 2018 vehicles, automatic emergency braking systems will be included on the NHTSA’s recommended safety list. Therefore, new automobiles will have to be equipped with these systems in order to receive the highest possible, five-star safety rating. Reuters reports that automatic emergency braking is just the most recent safety technology to be added since 2011. This list also includes lane-departure warning, electronic stability control, rear view camera systems and forward collision warning technologies. The hope is that including automatic emergency braking, and other technologies, on the list will help increase their inclusion in vehicles, making them safer and reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents.

Automakers on board with addition

According to the NHTSA, a group of 20 automakers recently announced their commitment to include automatic emergency braking as a standard feature in almost all new automobiles by 2022. The group represents 99 percent of the vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. market. It is believed that the agreement will see these braking systems included in new vehicles quicker than this could have been achieved through the regulatory process. Consequently, numerous crashes, and the resulting serious injuries or deaths, may be prevented.

Seeking legal guidance

When people are injured in Tennessee auto accidents, they may require extensive medical treatment and time off of work to recover. The care they need often carries unexpected expenses and being off work could cause them to lose wages. In situations when the negligence or recklessness of another driver causes such collisions and injuries, he or she may be held liable for the resulting damages. Therefore, it may benefit people who have been injured due to a motor vehicle wreck to discuss their rights and options with an attorney.