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Forward Collision Prevention as the Hallmark of New Vehicle Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has created a new program for evaluating the performance of front crash prevention systems to raise consumer awareness of safety options and encourage auto manufacturers to adopt and continue developing this technology. By way of background, front crash prevention systems generally include one or more of the following features:

  • Forward Collision Warning – The most passive of the front crash avoidance technology. This system utilizes camera, radar, and/or laser equipment for object recognition and speed detection, to determine whether the relative speed between a vehicle and object in the road presents a risk of impending collision. The driver may receive a visual, audio, or haptic warning, signaling the need to apply the brakes.
  • Dynamic Brake Support – A hybrid of passive and active front crash avoidance technology. This system pre-conditions the brakes automatically when a collision is detected, so that when the driver applies the brakes even slightly, the full braking power is applied to shorten the vehicle’s stopping distance.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking – The most active of the front crash avoidance technology. When a critical situation is detected, the vehicle’s brakes are automatically engaged with full braking potential to either completely prevent a front collision, or at least slow the vehicle down and mitigate the severity of the collision.

The new IIHS program evaluates the performance of vehicles in front crash avoidance based on two tests. The Institute conducts five test runs at speeds of 12 and 25 mph, which consists of driving a vehicle towards a stationary, inflatable, automobile façade. For the 12 mph test, vehicles can receive 0 to 2 points on the performance rating. When a vehicle’s AEB system reduces its speed by 10 mph or more, the vehicle receives 2 points; when its speed is reduced by 5 mph but less than 10 mph, it receives 1 point; when a vehicle’s speed is reduced by less than 5 mph, it receives 0 points. Similarly, for the 25 mph test, when a vehicle’s AEB system reduces its speed by 22 mph or more, it receives 3 points; when reduced by at least 10 mph but less than 22 mph, it receives 2 points; when reduced by at least 5 mph but less than 10 mph, it receives 1 point; and when the vehicle’s speed is reduced by less than 5 mph, it receives 0 points. Accordingly, a vehicle may receive up to 5 points in total for its performance in these two tests. A vehicle will also receive 1 point for having forward collision warning, bringing the total possible points a vehicle can receive to 6.  Evidently lacking in IIHS’s program are points for dynamic braking control systems.

To read Jeremy’s entire article, click here.  You can also view an IIHS video on Atlee Hall’s Youtube page. 

To learn more about your legal rights and options as a victim of a collision avoidance system malfunction, please contact Atlee Hall, LLP today for a free consultation. We have offices in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but help victims across the state.