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It’s no secret that front crash prevention is a safety feature that could reduce the likelihood of getting into a crash. Yet not many people realize just how much it can help. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that in 2013 alone, there would have been 700,000 fewer rear-end crashes that required a police report if all cars had been equipped with front crash prevention. 

A silver Subaru Outback is crash-tested.
A Subaru Outback is crash-tested | IIHS

What is front crash prevention?

Front crash prevention includes any safety features which are designed to prevent front collisions. Front crash prevention may be forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking at both low speeds (designed for the city) and high speeds (designed for the highway). Pedestrian detection is also used to measure accidents involving pedestrians. This particular IIHS study looked at collisions between cars. 

Front crash prevention systems may also use radar and/or lidar sensors, which send radio and light waves out to measure the distance between the vehicle and other vehicles or objects around it. Some vehicles are coming with cameras, too. Recently Tesla began testing camera-only based systems in their Model 3 and Model Y cars. The IIHS just tested this camera-only based system and found it to be effective. 

How many accidents do forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking prevent?

The IIHS study found that these advanced safety systems can prevent hundreds of thousands of accidents. That 700,000 fewer car accidents mentioned above accounts for 13% of all police-reported car accidents in 2013. Altogether, that’s a pretty significant number of accidents to keep from happening. 

The study found that automatic emergency braking reduced the likelihood of a rear end crash by 50%. The likelihood of a rear end crash involving injuries was reduced by 56% when cars were equipped with automatic emergency braking. 

Forward collision warning reduced the likelihood of a rear end accident by 27%, and also the chances of a rear end accident with injuries by 20%. 

How many vehicles are equipped with front crash prevention?

More and more car manufacturers are making advanced safety systems like front crash prevention standard in their vehicles. Acura has made both forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking standard in the ILX and RDX. Audi has also made both of these standard in most of their vehicles, but not all. High speed automatic emergency braking is optional in some models. 

Ford has also made these advanced safety systems standard in most of its 2021 vehicles as well, though it’s only optional in some, so make sure you check before you buy. Honda is also making these safety systems standard in most of their vehicles. 

As big car manufacturer names make these types of safety features standard, other car manufacturers are also likely to follow suit. 

As this happens, consumers have more, safer choices, and it’s moving toward being the norm in cars. Of course, this means the roads will be safer for everyone. The next time you’re car shopping, pay attention to what safety features your potential car comes with.  


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