Report: Automatic braking will soon be included on NHTSA’s safety list

In an effort to help cut down on rear-end crashes, the NHTSA plans to add automatic emergency braking technology to its recommended safety list.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, reports that auto accidents across West Virginia resulted in 272 deaths in 2014 alone. During that same year, many more people suffered serious injuries. Some of these traffic-related fatalities and injuries are the result of rear-end crashes. In order to help improve traffic safety and reduce the number of such collisions, the NHTSA plans to add automatic emergency braking technology to its recommended safety list.

What factors contribute to rear-end collisions?

Like other motor vehicle accidents, there are numerous factors that may play a role in causing rear-end wrecks. These may include the following:

• Drinking and driving

• Speeding

• Unsafe lane changes

• Tailgating

• Weather conditions

• Road conditions

Further, inattentive drivers who are text messaging, talking on the phone or are otherwise engaged in distracting behaviors also commonly cause rear-end collisions.

How does automatic emergency braking technology work?

In general, automatic emergency braking includes two separate systems - crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support. When rear-end motor vehicle accidents are about to happen and the drivers have not taken action to stop them, crash imminent braking systems engage the automobiles' brakes. Dynamic brake support systems, on the other hand, supplement motorists' braking efforts. If drivers have not applied their vehicle's brakes enough to avoid a collision, the dynamic brake support system engages the automobile's brakes.

Updating the recommended safety features for vehicles

Recently, it was reported that the NHTSA plans to add automatic emergency braking technology to its recommended safety list. The NHTSA assesses vehicle safety based on crash tests and other factors. Vehicles are awarded a safety rating of between one and five stars, with the safest automobiles receiving five-star ratings. Provided there are no significant roadblocks, Reuters reports the update will be put into effect starting with model year 2018 vehicles. Thus, in order to receive the highest safety rating from the NHTSA, new vehicles in that year will have to include automatic emergency braking technology.

Automatic emergency braking technology may cut down on the impact speed of some rear-end accidents, or prevent others altogether. The hope is that by including these systems as a recommended safety feature, more auto makers will include them as a standard safety feature on their vehicles. This may help to reduce the number of serious and potentially deadly motor vehicle accidents.

Working with a legal representative

When people in West Virginia, and elsewhere, are injured in rear-end collisions, they may require extensive medical treatment. Additionally, they may need time off of work to recover. As a result, they may incur unexpected medical expenses and lose income. Therefore, people who have experienced this type of situation may find it helpful to consult with an attorney to discuss their options for seeking financial compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:Do I have to pay for hiring experts, depositions, and other expenses of getting my case to trial?

A:At Cyrus & Adkins, we will advance all costs necessary for the development and presentation of your case. In the event of a successful recovery, whether by settlement or verdict, these necessary costs and expenses are reimbursable to our firm.

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