New Study by IIHS Shows Automatic Emergency Braking Dramatically Reduces Accidents With Injuries In GM Vehicles

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As more data comes in, automatic emergency braking starts to prove its worth.


A study by the safety experts at the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety has shown that automatic emergency braking (AEB) doesn’t just work, it works amazingly well. This new study looked at General Motors Vehicles from the 2013-2015 model year. Ten total models from the Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet lineup were included in the study. Small and large sedans, midsized crossovers, and full-sized SUVs were among the various types of vehicles in the study. GM made these safety systems optional during these model years, so with help from GM who supplied the VIN numbers, IIHS researcher and Vice President Jessica Cicchino was able to sort through police-reported accidents to determine the frequency vehicles with and without the AEB safety systems were involved in accidents.

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GM offers two levels of protection. One system only alerts a driver to an impending crash but does not intervene. The second has both a warning and will apply the brakes up to the full stopping power of the vehicle automatically to prevent or reduce the severity of a crash. According to IIIHS, the results are summarized as follows:

“Vehicles equipped with Front Automatic Braking and Forward Collision Alert were involved in 43% fewer rear-end striking crashes of all severities, 64% fewer rear-end striking crashes with any injuries, and 68% fewer rear-end striking crashes with third-party injuries compared with the same vehicles without a front crash prevention system.”

As of the latest year for which data is available, 2016, front to rear crashes, or “rear-endings” accounted for about 1/3 of the total crashes. There were 2.4 million of these types of crashes in the United States that were reported to the police that year.

This study is just the latest to confirm that automatic emergency braking systems work, and work very well. An earlier study by IIHS and HDLI of Volvo vehicles proved the efficacy of the systems as did a recent study looking at the effectiveness of systems to reduce pedestrian strikes by Subaru vehicles.

Every automaker has pledged to make automatic emergency braking standard in all of their mainstream models by 2022.

The full study by IIHS can be found here.