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IIHS report shows benefits of collision avoidance tech

Throughout California and the rest of America, backup collisions are all too common. While there is technology that can help drivers avoid such collisions, it has yet to become a regular feature in new cars. For example, only 5 percent of new vehicles offer rear automatic braking as an add-on.

A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety may encourage automakers to consider, or reconsider, the benefits of rear automatic braking. The IIHS found that the braking system lowers backup collision rates by 62 percent. When combined with other safety features like rearview cameras and sensors, backup collision rates drop by 78 percent.

For the study, the IIHS analyzed several 2017 model vehicles. The results were almost uniformly positive, with the exception of one vehicle whose system failed to detect a dummy car that was parked at an angle. The institute gave the highest ratings to the 2017 Subaru Outback and Cadillac XT5 SUV.

Currently, automatic braking systems are mainly for the purpose of avoiding vehicles rather than pedestrian safety. Automatic braking for the front is set to become a standard feature on most new vehicles by 2022; no similar plans have been made for rear automatic braking. Starting in May 2018, though, the government will make rearview cameras mandatory in all new vehicles.

Drivers without these special features are, according to the study, more liable to get into a car accident. When such accidents occur, victims will want to consult with legal counsel about filing a claim. That way, they could be compensated for vehicle damage and any medical bills or lost wages. The lawyer will evaluate the claim, determine the degree of negligence, and estimate a settlement if the case is valid. Investigators may come into play when bringing all the evidence together.

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