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Automatic Braking May Help Prevent Car Accidents, But Drivers Must Still Remain Attentive and Responsible

Several car commercials recently have played on the theme of showing a driver engaged in a conversation with his passenger or looking at the scenery rather than watching the road, when the car stops suddenly to avoid causing a rear-end collision or striking a child who ran into the road. Automotive manufacturing has embraced a host of advanced technologies to create cars that scan the road ahead and brake for you if you don’t do it yourself. These features, known collectively as Automated Emergency Braking systems, or AEB, will soon be standard on almost all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S. While AEB technology will undoubtedly help to decrease the frequency and severity of car accidents in Mississippi and elsewhere, it may also raise complicated questions about who is liable when accidents do occur. If you purchased a vehicle with AEB, make sure you know its functions and limitations, and don’t be lulled into thinking you don’t have to drive as carefully as ever.

How AEB works

AEB systems employ a host of different technologies to scan the road ahead and detect objects in the path of the car. These technologies include cameras, radar and lasers that all work together to monitor the road ahead and even on all sides of the vehicle. Some systems, such as the Front-Crash Warning or Forward-Collision Warning system, sound an alarm to alert the driver that there is an imminent need to brake the car or apply other evasive maneuvers immediately to avoid an accident. The latest in AEB technology, however, actually applies the brakes for you if you don’t hit them in time, or applies more pressure if the car senses that you are not hitting the brakes hard enough to avoid a collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 20 automakers have pledged to include AEB on all new vehicles as a standard feature by 2022. This number of automakers accounts for about 99% of the American auto market.

Stay alert, AEB or not

Regardless of whether a car has AEB installed on it or not, it is likely that the ultimate responsibility for any car accident which does occur will lie with the driver of the vehicle who caused the accident. Laws have not changed, nor are they likely to, that place a duty on all drivers to drive with reasonable care and attention, adjusting their driving according to the traffic, weather and road conditions at the time. Negligent or distracted drivers will continue to be held accountable for causing car accidents, although the role of AEB systems may make any litigation more complicated and only heighten the need for representation by a knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney.

If you have been hurt in a car accident along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, contact the Gardner Law Firm for a no-cost consultation regarding your potential claims for compensation. Call our experienced and dedicated injury attorneys at the office most convenient for you, at 228-436-6555 in Biloxi, 228-762-6555 in Pascagoula or 601-582-4300 in Hattiesburg.

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