Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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How safety tech can reduce backup collision rates

Drivers in Nevada, as elsewhere in the U.S., may be looking forward to fully automated vehicles, but before that time comes, they may want to consider the safety tech that’s available right now. A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that rear automatic braking systems, for example, can be really effective in preventing backup collisions.

In fact, cars that are equipped with these systems were 62 percent less likely to be involved in a backup crash. Combine that system with other technologies, such as rearview cameras and sensors, and the number goes up to 78 percent. The IIHS studied several new vehicle models and found that the 2017 Subaru Outback and Cadillac XT5 SUV were especially consistent in stopping or slowing down when faced with obstacles in the rear.

The technology isn’t perfect, though, and it tends to focus on avoiding cars rather than pedestrians. Backup accidents have led to many deaths, especially the deaths of children, so this limitation is a critical one. Also, rear automatic braking is currently offered on only 5 percent of new vehicles.

Front automatic braking systems will become standard features by 2022, but no such plans exist for rear systems. In May 2018, though, the government will mandate that all new vehicles incorporate rearview cameras, which may raise interest in rear automatic braking.

Even if these features become standard, drivers may choose to disable them. Victims of driver negligence may wish to consult with a lawyer who focuses on car accident cases. During the assessment, the lawyer may be able to determine if the victim contributed to the accident and estimate a settlement accordingly. The lawyer may bring in experts to reconstruct the accident if it’s necessary for bolstering the case. The lawyer may then negotiate with the other’s auto insurance company and litigate if an informal settlement can’t be agreed upon.

John P. Aldrich
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