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Rear automatic brakes can reduce backup crash rates

A test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that rear automatic braking, a safety option on only 5 percent of new vehicles, can cut down on the number of backup crashes by 62 percent. The IIHS also found that if these brakes are combined with rearview cameras and backup warning sensors, the risk can be lowered by 78 percent. New York residents with newer vehicles may want to consider these safety features.

In the test, the IIHS gave a superior rating to two models, the 2017 Subaru Outback and the Cadillac XT5 SUV, and an advanced rating to four other vehicles for avoiding crashes and significantly reducing vehicle speeds. One vehicle, though, crashed with a dummy car parked at an angle because the former failed to automatically brake.

Rear autobrakes are meant to prevent collisions with obstacles, but the technology may soon develop to prevent pedestrian crashes. It is an unfortunate fact that young children are especially vulnerable to backup crashes.

More automakers are adding rear autobrakes to their vehicles. Other technologies have become nationally recognized for their role in increasing safety. Starting in May 2018, for example, rearview cameras became mandatory on all U.S. vehicles. In addition, most vehicles are projected to have front automatic braking by 2022.

Under auto accident law, victims of a backup crash or any other incident may be able to file a claim against the individual whose negligence caused it. In New York, the courts determine to what degree each party was at fault, and this could affect how much the victim receives in damages. Before filing, victims might want to retain a lawyer and have him or her attempt to negotiate for a fair settlement on their behalf. A lawyer may also assist with the litigation process if the auto insurance company refuses to pay out.