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Front Crash Protection Making Strides in Newer Car Models

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 22, 2015 in Car Accidents

Many 2014 models of large family cars and luxury vehicles have received an advanced or superior IIHS safety rating for front end crash prevention. These models have automatic braking capabilities and warning systems that may reduce the risk to drivers and passengers when involved in a front-end collision.

The IIHS rates vehicles on a scale of basic, advanced or superior according to how effective the autobrake on the vehicle is. To give ratings, the IIHS tested vehicles at crash speeds of 12 and 25 mph. That may seem like low speeds, but one study by General Motors found that 33 percent of all car accident injuries occur at speeds less than 20 mph. With front-end collisions, there can be danger of whiplash, traumatic brain injury and other serious injuries, even if the car is equipped with airbags and all occupants are wearing seatbelts.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration sets performance criteria for forward collision warning systems. Vehicles that minimally meet these criteria receive a basic rating.

Forward collision warning systems have helped drivers avoid crashes. Even if a car does crash it has the chance to do so at a reduced speed. Front end crash prevention technology uses cameras, radars or lasers to detect when a car is near an object. Forward collision prevention systems then warn the driver and "precharge" brakes to maximize braking if the driver does so. Some systems even brake automatically if the driver fails to react.

Most forward collision systems are optional and must be purchased at a higher cost. However, availability for such systems is growing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reported that adaptive headlights and forward collision avoidance systems help the most to reduce crashes.

Of course, technology cannot completely remove driver error. According to the National Association of State EMS Officials, drivers with crash avoidance systems also typically take greater risks than those without, partially removing the benefit of improved safety technology in vehicles.

And driving while under the influence, fatigued or distracted is just as dangerous as it has always been, safety experts caution.

Front-end collisions can be devastating

Any type of car accident can be deadly. While newer cars come equipped to more readily handle forward collisions, any car accident can be serious and result in medical expenses, lost wages and other money damages. People who have been injured in a front-end car accident should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their legal options and to get help with recovery.