New safety features, like automatic braking and front crash prevention that are currently optional in vehicles, have been shown to significantly lower someone's risk of being in an accident. Although increasing numbers of automobiles have been manufactured with these safety features, they are not available in all cars, trucks and SUVs. However, several major automakers have agreed to make automatic braking systems available in nearly all their light vehicles by 2022.
The agreement, arranged by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was voluntary and involves major manufacturers like Toyota, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen. In the aggregate, those automakers account for more than 99 percent of all light vehicle sales in the U.S. The companies involved are being given additional time to tackle adding safety features in vehicles where there are technical challenges, such as those with manual transmissions.
According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calculations, the technology may be able to reduce the number of crashes by a fifth. The agreement is not binding, so it is up to automakers to fulfill their obligations. It could take up to eight years to make the standards mandatory. Research has shown that automatic braking can be particularly helpful in reducing the number of rear-end collisions.
Although safety features can do a lot to prevent accidents, some collisions are due to the negligence of a driver. The financial costs of car accident injuries can add up quickly and can include medical care and treatment as well as wages lost due to an inability to return to the workplace. A personal injury attorney can often be of assistance to a person who has been seriously injured by a distracted or impaired driver.