When people drive around St. Louis, they are constantly making use of their vehicle’s common safety features: brakes, headlights, seat belts, etc. We often use those features reflexively; we’ve used them so many times that not a great deal of thought goes into each implementation.

Some of the emerging safety technology included on new vehicles isn’t quite as familiar and not quite as trusted by many drivers. But a new study shows that safety tech such as automatic emergency braking is doing exactly as it was designed to do: reduce motor vehicle crashes and keep drivers, passengers and pedestrians safer.

According to the study released by GM, auto emergency braking reduces rear-end collisions by 46 percent. Reverse automatic braking reduces crashes that occur when backing up by a whopping 81 percent.

“We can make substantial gains in safety through deployment of advanced driver assistance systems such as forward and rear emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and others,” said a research associate professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “In addition, we found that the more automated the system, the greater the benefits.”

Benefits are substantial: reductions not only in the frequency of collisions, but also in traffic fatalities, injuries to vehicle occupants and vehicle damage.

Researchers were careful to note that their data didn’t come from test tracks or simulations. It was collected from 3.8 million vehicles on American streets, roads and highways.

Other safety features also produced results, including:

  • Active lane control with lane-departure warnings: cut lane-change crashes by 20 percent
  • Blind-spot monitors: reduced crashes by 26 percent
  • Forward collision alert: reduced striking rear-end crashes 21 percent

If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end collision or other car accident, contact a St. Louis attorney skilled in personal injury litigation.