Reducing backup crashes with advanced safety features

West Virginia residents may want to learn more about rear automatic braking because a new report has shown how effective it is in preventing backup crashes. In fact, it can reduce the number of backup crashes by 62 percent, and that number jumps up to 78 percent when the tech is combined with rearview cameras and sensors. This is important because backup crashes often result in extensive property damage and serious injuries. Many young children have died in backup crashes, too.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the combination of rear automatic brakes, rearview cameras and sensors in several recent vehicle models, giving superior ratings to the 2017 Subaru Outback and Cadillac XT5 SUV and advanced ratings to four other models. One vehicle, however, failed to brake automatically as it approached a dummy car parked at an angle, so the technology is not perfect. Rear automatic brakes are meant to primarily avoid obstacles, but they could develop to the point where they avoid pedestrians.

Only 5 percent of new vehicles offer rear automatic braking as an option, but other automakers are adding them to their models. The importance of rearview cameras and front automatic braking has been nationally recognized; the former became mandatory on all U.S. vehicles from May 2018 while the latter will become standard on most cars by 2022.

Unfortunately, safety features cannot eliminate car accidents so long as there is a human factor involved. Drivers can choose to act negligently, and if doing so causes them to get in an accident, they can be held liable. Anyone less than 50 percent responsible for a crash can file an injury claim. Victims may want a lawyer to negotiate on their behalf since auto insurance companies can be aggressive in denying claims. The lawyer could assist with litigation if a settlement isn't reached.

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