New technology key to preventing car accidents

In recent years, automakers have worked to develop and release new technologies designed to help drivers avoid serious car accidents. New evidence from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that car makers have made great strides in a very short time in improving their front crash prevention systems.

Typically, these systems include sensors or cameras located in the front of a vehicle. When the system determines that the vehicle is too close to the vehicle in front of it, it can display a warning to the driver. In some cases, systems will automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond within a particular amount of time.

Last year, the IIHS began offering an evaluation of the safety benefits of front crash prevention systems for the first time. Vehicles can receive a rating of basic, advanced or superior based on a variety of factors. Most importantly, a vehicle will receive a superior rating if it includes an auto brake system and performs well in simulations of possible crashes at both 12 and 25 miles per hour. The inclusion of an auto brake system is particularly important: even in situations where a collision is inevitable, an auto brake system can help reduce a vehicle's speed to the point where it can help mitigate the seriousness of the accident.

According to the IIHS's newest ratings, eight models earned a superior rating, 13 earned an advanced rating and three earned a basic rating. While more and more luxury brands, including BMW, Lexus, Acura, Mercedes and Cadillac, are including these advanced systems in their vehicles, so too are other brands, including Toyota, Dodge, Chevrolet and Hyundai.

In most cases, these front crash avoidance systems are only included if a special safety package is purchased. As evidence of the efficacy of these systems grows, however, experts believe that they will become standard equipment on all new vehicles. Currently, these systems are offered on about 40 percent of all 2014 vehicle models.

Unfortunately, despite advances in crash avoidance technology, accidents still happen. Those who have suffered serious injuries in a car accident should remember that they have legal rights. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this could include compensation for medical bills and other expenses. Schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your options and to receive advice about next steps. Do not delay: contact a personal injury attorney today.