Reducing rear-end crashes: NHTSA recommends automatic braking technology

In order to reduce rear-end crashes, which often result in serious injuries and death, the NHTSA will add automatic braking technology to its safety list.

Every day in Charleston, and other localities, motorists are hit from behind. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board reported that there were over 1.7 million rear-end collisions in 2012 alone. As a result of these types of accidents, drivers, passengers and bystanders commonly suffer serious injuries, or death. Automakers have developed technologies aimed at reducing such collisions, however, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to add to the recommended safety list.

Common causes of rear-end accidents

As is the case with head-on collisions, sideswipes and T-bone accidents, there are any number of factors that may contribute to causing rear-end crashes. Some of the most common causes of such wrecks include the following:

• Tailgating

• Speed

• Hazardous weather conditions

• Driver distractions

Additionally, alcohol intoxication, and other impairments may also play a role in causing rear-end collisions. As a result of these, and other factors, people may not notice changes in the traveling or road conditions in front of them, which may result in them hitting other vehicles from behind.

NHTSA to add automatic emergency braking systems to safety list

The NHTSA has developed a rating system, which is used to indicate how vehicles fair in the event of a crash. Based on the system, vehicles are awarded a star rating, with five stars being bestowed upon the safest vehicles. Recently, Reuters reported that the regulatory agency will update its five-star safety rating to include automatic emergency braking, or AEB, technologies. Thus, this technology will be a recommended safety feature for all 2018 model year vehicles in the U.S.

In general, AEB technology is comprised of two systems - crash imminent braking and dynamic braking support. When rear-end collisions are about to happen, and drivers have not taken action to avoid crashing, crash imminent braking systems will apply the vehicles' brakes. Dynamic braking support systems would supplement motorists' braking in situations when they are not applying sufficient braking to avoid a rear-end wreck. Reuters points out that AEB technology would reduce the impact speed of such accidents, or prevent them altogether.

Seeking legal guidance

When people's vehicles are hit from behind in West Virginia, and elsewhere, the effects can be devastating. As a result of the serious injuries, which they may suffer in such collisions, people may require extensive medical treatment and care. This often leads to undue medical expenses and, in some cases, may affect their ability to work and provide for their families. Sometimes, however, the at-fault motorists in these cases may be held responsible for these, and other damages. Thus, those who have been injured in rear-end accidents may benefit from consulting with an attorney to understand their rights, as well as their options for pursuing financial compensation.