It’s a familiar scenario. Traffic slows during rush hour, and cars begin following too closely, or drivers aren’t paying attention. An instant later, a car crashes into the one ahead of it, causing serious damage and possible injuries.
Rear-end crashes make up nearly half of all accidents involving two cars. These accidents injure passengers, damage vehicles, and slow traffic on roads. They can also be prevented.
Why Rear-End Crashes Are Common
According to a special report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), drivers in rear-end crashes typically fail to recognize slow or stopped traffic ahead of them and do not brake in time to stop safely. These drivers may be tired, not paying attention, traveling too fast, distracted, or have poor visibility. When inattentive drivers are behind the wheel of a commercial truck, the consequences are even more devastating. Commercial vehicles are considerably heavier and taller than passenger cars, creating more damage when they hit smaller cars.
Technology Can Help Save Drivers
Forward Collision Avoidance and Mitigation (FCAM) technology is an umbrella term for many types of safety features that mitigate accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has researched this technology to evaluate safety systems for large, heavy vehicles. Features of this technology include forward collision warning (FCW)—to warn that your vehicle is going to collide with a vehicle in front of you; crash imminent braking (CIB); dynamic brake support (DBS); automatic emergency braking (AEB); and collision mitigation braking (CBM). These systems work to alert drivers of danger or apply safety measures automatically. Here is a brief look at some of these features:
- Driver alerts. Audio or visual alerts warn drivers of a possible danger, giving them time to brake or maneuver to avoid a crash.
- Automatic braking. The system overrides the driver and applies the brakes. This type of technology can either brake independently of the driver or supplement the driver’s braking if it determines that not enough force has been applied to stop in time.
- Vehicle-to-vehicle adaptations. Sensors can monitor vehicles in front of the driver’s vehicle and adjust speed accordingly to keep a safe following distance.
NHTSA research shows trucks without FCAM are twice as likely to be involved in a rear-end collision and predicts the technology could prevent 4,000 serious injuries and 100 deaths a year. As a result, a number of auto safety advocacy groups petitioned the NHTSA to implement a formal rule requiring FCAM on large vehicles, citing the significant benefits these systems offer.
The technology exists to prevent these auto collisions and the injuries they cause. If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a rear-end collision, you may be entitled to pursue a claim. Contact Kaufman Law for a free consultation.