Studies show automatic emergency braking reduces rear-end crashes by half



According to two new studies conducted by government and insurance industry organizations, automatic emergency braking and forward collision warnings can reduce the number of rear-end crashes by half.

A new study by The Partnership for Analytics Research in Traffic Safety found that rear-end crashes dropped 49 percent when the approaching vehicle was equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) and forward collision warnings. Collisions with injuries decreased by more than half, with a 53 percent reduction. Vehicles with forward collision warnings only reduced crashes by 16 percent and injury-causing crashes by 19 percent.

The study examined vehicle equipment levels from 12 million crashes in 13 states. Data were collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and focused on forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking technologies. The study found that AEB works in all conditions, including poor weather, at night, and on busy roads.

A similar study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that crash rates for pickup trucks equipped with the technology dropped by 43 percent, and crash-related injuries dropped by 42 percent. At the same time, pickup trucks are less likely to have the same level of advanced driver aids as other vehicles, despite accounting for 20 percent of passenger vehicles on the road.

These results come as many automakers are making pledges to implement automatic emergency braking and forward collision alerts as standard equipment. Some, including Ford, Stellantis, and Mercedes-Benz, have included the tech in as much as 90 percent of their vehicle catalogs, while others, such as BMW, Tesla, Toyota, and Volvo, have already passed that mark.