Braking innovations: How vehicle braking systems can prevent or reduce car accidents and the injuries to those involved in a road traffic accident.
AEB could save lives, national body states
AEB has been highlighted as having the potential to significantly improve road safety in the UK.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has highlighted the beneficial impact the mandatory rollout of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) for all new vehicles could have on accident statistics in the UK.
What is AEB and why is it important?
Euro NCAP describes the technology as an automatic system that applies the brakes in a critical situation when onboard sensors detect a collision is imminent.
AEB is credited with having the potential to significantly reduce the severity of accidents, as it can dramatically reduce the speed at which collisions occur. In most cases, AEB uses radar or lidar-based technology to identify potential obstacles ahead of the car.
The system works in two ways, firstly by helping to avoid accidents entirely by warning the driver when the system senses danger, allowing them to take appropriate avoiding action.
Meanwhile, in cases where a collision cannot be avoided, the system automatically applies the brakes, reducing overall velocity and in some instances will also prepare the vehicle and restraints for impact, further reducing the likelihood of injury.
A range of manufacturers have already been accredited with the development of AEB for their latest models, including such well-known names as Honda, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi, Fiat and Skoda, but these are not currently being employed across all ranges.
ABI motor policy adviser Scott Pendry said: “Even with clear safety benefits, three-quarters of new vehicles available to UK motorists do not have AEB fitted as standard or as an option.
“This must change. Fitting this technology as the norm will not only further improve road safety, but will significantly lower insurance costs as AEB is taken into account in the motor insurance group rating system.”
Figures from the ABI show that at present, just 23 per cent of new cars being sold in the UK have AEB installed as standard, while research by the body has shown the use of this technology can actually reduce the number of personal injury claims following road traffic accidents by up to 18 per cent.
Motorists need to take responsibility too
Individuals involved in a road traffic accident can suffer serious and life-threatening injuries. It is therefore imperative manufacturers, governments and drivers themselves do all in their power to reduce the chances of such incidents occurring.
There are a number of strategies all road users can employ to help ensure they remain focused and vigilant behind the wheel, meaning they will react faster in the event of an emergency, hopefully avoiding a serious accident.
These include avoiding distractions such as eating or drinking, using mobile phones, grooming, minding children and adjusting in-car stereos or other electronic devices.
Drivers should then also look to schedule breaks into longer journeys so as to avoid the likelihood of fatigue, as well as having a good understanding of the layout of vehicle controls, so motorists will not have to take their eyes off the road when turning on headlights, indicating or changing heater settings, etc.
Conversations with passengers should also be kept short, allowing the driver to maintain their full attention on the task of driving, while essential items for safer motoring (like sunglasses when there is a potential for glare) should be kept close to hand.
Becoming a safer driver is all about being prepared and having the relevant experience to understand what to do in different circumstances. Acting responsibly is something all motorists need to be aware of, as the consequences of failing to do so can be serious and damaging.
Making a personal injury claim
In the event of an accident it is important to remember there are people who can help victims who have received an injury to receive compensation.
Passengers or drivers who have been involved in a collision should first receive a full medical examination to uncover the extent of their injuries; they should then get in touch with a qualified personal injury lawyer to discuss their claim.