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Safety tech lowers number of reverse crashes

A report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that rear automatic braking in newer vehicle models can reduce the number of backup crashes by 62 percent. Connecticut residents with a recent model will want to see if rear autobrakes are an option, though it is a fact that they are only available on 5 percent of new vehicle models.

Furthermore, the report states that combining rear autobrakes with rearview cameras and sensors can lower the number of backup crashes by 78 percent. The IIHS came to these conclusions after testing several vehicle models with and without the safety tech. It gave superior ratings to 2017 Subaru Outback and Cadillac XT5 SUV and advanced ratings to four other models. Yet one car failed to automatically brake when approaching a dummy car.

While rear automatic braking is primarily meant to avoid collisions with obstacles, the technology may soon expand so that it prevents crashes with pedestrians. Small children are often fatally injured in backup crashes, so such a development will be beneficial.

Others believe that rear automatic brakes should become standard on most vehicles, but no such plan is forthcoming. Instead, front automatic brakes are expected to become standard by 2022. In May 2018, though, rearview cameras became mandatory on all U.S. vehicles, which can be considered a positive step.

Drivers have the option to disable some safety features, though, so new technology will not always prevent car accidents. When negligence is clearly behind an accident, the victim may benefit from consulting with a lawyer about filing a claim. In Connecticut, those who are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident can file. A lawyer might be able to assist by hiring third parties like accident investigators and medical professionals, negotiating for the settlement and preparing the case for court if a settlement cannot be reached.

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