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Front crash prevention slashes police-reported rear-end crashes

5 February 2016

Vehicles equipped with front crash prevention are much less likely to rear-end other vehicles, IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), has found in the first study of the feature's effectiveness using U.S. police-reported crash data.

Systems with automatic braking reduce rear-end crashes by about 40 percent on average, while forward collision warning alone cuts them by 23 percent, the study found. The autobrake systems also greatly reduce injury crashes.

If all vehicles had been equipped with autobrake that worked as well as the systems studied, there would have been at least 700,000 fewer police-reported rear-end crashes in 2013. That number represents 13 percent of police-reported crashes overall.

"The success of front crash prevention represents a big step toward safer roads," says David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer. "As this technology becomes more widespread, we can expect to see noticeably fewer rear-end crashes. The same goes for the whiplash injuries that often result from these crashes and can cause a lot of pain and lost productivity."