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Automatic emergency braking systems to be standard by 2022

On March 17, several car manufacturers agreed that nearly all of their vehicles will have automatic emergency braking systems as of September 2022. California drivers may not be aware that, in September 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced an agreement with 10 car makers to add this technology as a crash prevention measure.

In 2012, approximately 547,000 people were injured and 1,705 were killed in rear-end collisions. Of the recorded injuries and deaths, 87 percent could have been lessened or prevented if there were accident avoidance systems in the vehicles. This is because driver distraction or inattention was a contributing factor in these crashes, according to researchers.

An automatic emergency braking system is made to prevent car accidents in which drivers fail to press the brakes hard enough or at all to prevent a collision. Both Consumer Reports and the National Transportation Safety Board have pushed for the system to be mandatory in all vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that up to 1 million or 20 percent of car accidents may be prevented with the technology.

The vehicle manufacturers included in the final deal with the NHTSA represent more than 99 percent of light-vehicle sales in the country. Some of these companies are Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen. Under the agreement, they will have a longer period of time to add the technology to vehicles that pose technical challenges, such as those with manual transmissions. The administrator of the NHTSA who supports the voluntary accord says that it could be eight years before legally binding regulations are in place.

When the negligence of other drivers causes car accidents that lead to injuries or deaths, the at-fault motorists could be held financially responsible for the damages that they caused. Having the assistance of a personal injury attorney could be advisable for injured victims who are seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses.

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