Twenty automakers that make nearly all cars driven in the U.S. have committed to making automatic emergency brakes (AEB) a standard feature of new cars starting in September 2022 at the latest. The brakes are intended to prevent accidents or make accidents less severe by stopping cars automatically when sensors detect an imminent collision.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) press release, the automakers who have committed to the change will install the AEB systems in nearly all cars and trucks that weigh 8,500 pounds or less. The AEB systems use sensor technology like radar or lasers to detect impending obstacles, and automatically apply the brakes after a warning when the driver fails to do so in time. According to the press release, the technology is estimated to prevent thousands of accidents and save thousands of lives every year.
Automatic emergency brakes could come in handy in particular for distracted driving accidents, which have become such a problem since people started driving with their cell phones. They could also prove beneficial to help limit damage and injuries in drunk driving accidents, which are a major problem year-round, and especially during the summer months and holidays.
There is likely no technology that can entirely eliminate the risk of car accidents. But automatic braking systems will provide an additional tool that will hopefully prevent countless tragic accidents that might have happened without the technology. The year 2022 is still a ways off, however, and if you or someone you love is in a car accident during that time, it's important to speak with a lawyer who can help you secure appropriate compensation for your injuries and losses.