Skip to main content

Testing group says forward crash prevention and auto braking could save you

Could save you from injury and also save you money. Here’s how.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) has released the results of a multi-year evaluation of forward crash prevention (FCP) systems with and without emergency auto braking (EAB). The study looked at systems installed in cars by Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Acura over five model years from 2010 through 2014. Using police-reported accident rates, the study found dramatic decreases in accidents in those models that had FCP with and without auto-brake when compared to similar models without the safety systems. The study also proved that systems that only warned of an impending crash (but did not stop the car) did NOT have a statistically significant injury reduction rate.

The study found that in 2013 alone if all vehicles had been equipped with FCP there would have been 700,000 less crashes in the U.S. That represents a 13% reduction in accidents overall (of all accident types). The study found that cars equipped with both FCP and EAB reduce rear-end crashes by 40%. Those cars equipped with just FCP, but without the auto-brake capability reduce crashes by 23%. Importantly, only the systems with auto brake reduced crashes with injuries.

David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer, commented on the study results, saying, "The success of front crash prevention represents a big step toward safer roads. As this technology becomes more widespread, we can expect to see noticeably fewer rear-end crashes. The same goes for the whiplash injuries that often result from these crashes and can cause a lot of pain and lost productivity." Whiplash injuries are the most common injuries in all crash types.

Ten automakers have pledged to make FCP with EAB standard on all of their vehicles. For more on that, please see our prior story.

: Deaths in Tesla Model S crash might have been prevented by common safety system
Forward crash prevention averts costly accidents in BMW i3
Lexus IS outscores rivals on IIHS Front Crash Prevention test