Attorney David J. King


Federal traffic safety agency pushes for automatic emergency braking features on newer cars

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Rear-end crashes are some of the most common types of automobile accidents that occur on American highways. A driver who’s not careful about the distance between their vehicle and the one in front is at a high risk of colliding with the other’s rear bumper. But new safety regulations could make rear-ends a thing of the past.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced plans to implement a requirement that all new automobiles must have automatic emergency braking features. According to the agency’s proposed regulation, newer cars must have automatic braking features to avoid other vehicles at up to 50 miles per hour if a driver fails to engage the brakes manually.

NHTSA’s regulation draft is open to public feedback and input for 60 days before the agency can decide on a final version.

Why are rear-end collisions a concern?

Why is the NHTSA pushing for automatic emergency braking? According to the agency, rear-end collisions kill 360 people and cause at least 24,000 injuries yearly in the U.S. Rear-end crashes are also a higher risk concern than other collisions. The NHTSA reported that in 2019, rear-end collisions comprised 32.5% of all motor vehicle collisions. Rear-end collisions also accounted for 7% of all fatalities and 31.1% of injuries that year.

The potential injuries one can sustain from a rear-end collision include:

  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries, such as whiplash
  • Spinal and disc fractures

The NHTSA reported that in 2018 the average cost of rear-end collisions was $26,700. This total includes medical bills, any wages lost due to injuries, property damage and payments for pain and suffering.

Until automatic emergency braking becomes mandatory, drivers will be at risk of suffering rear-end collisions. And even if the technology becomes widespread, vehicular collisions can still occur in certain conditions. If you suffer severe injuries in a motor vehicle accident that will require a lot of money to treat, you might want to hire a personal injury attorney who can help bring your claims to court to seek compensation.