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Do automatic braking systems help?

Automatic braking systems use forward collision warning to stop a vehicle automatically — and much faster than the driver can react to a dangerous situation. Consumer Reports says that this technology helps save lives and prevent serious accidents, and it is recommending that all motorists consider buying a car equipped with the new technology. In fact, Consumer Reports says it should be made a standard feature on all vehicles.

According to Consumer Reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that 10 auto manufacturers have agreed to include Automatic Emergency Braking systems standard in their vehicles. The carmakers on this list include: Volvo, Volkswagen, Toyota, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, General Motors, Ford, BMW and Audi.

Consumer Reports says that the incorporation of this technology in vehicles would help drivers avoid crashes and/or dramatically reduce the velocity of a collision should one occur. Considering that the technology only costs from $250 to $400 to include in a vehicle, it is a bargain compared to the unfortunate after affects of an injurious accident.

Consumer Reports recommends that drivers who are considering purchasing a new vehicle consider various issues when selecting an automobile. Particularly, drivers are encouraged to select vehicles that score highly in dynamic tests, have above-average reliability and score highly in crash tests carried out by the insurance industry and the government. In addition, motorists are encouraged to consider vehicles with new safety technology like: automatic emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alert, lane-departure warning and blind spot monitoring systems.

After all, it is better to avoid a car accident in the first place than to get injured. In the event that an injury has occurred in a car collision, however, if it happened due to another party's negligence, then injured parties might be able to seek financial restitution in court.

Source: Consumer Reports, "Forward-Collision Warning With Braking to Become Standard," Jeff S. Bartlett, accessed Oct. 16, 2015

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