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New braking systems could reduce distracted driver accidents

An agreement reached by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with automakers producing almost all of the cars sold in the United States could result in a drastic drop in accidents caused to texting and driving in New York and other states by the year 2022. Automakers have agreed to install automatic braking systems in vehicles made or sold in this country.

Eliminating the potential for a rear-end car collision with the installation of collision avoidance technology could have a significant impact on the serious injury and deaths associated with highway accidents. More than 1,700 people were killed and 547,000 were injured in rear-end crashes in just one year with 87 percent of the accidents attributed to the actions of a distracted driver.

Automatic braking systems that activate a vehicle's brakes if the driver fails to do so to avoid a car collision are estimated to be capable of preventing at least 20 percent, or about 1 million, of the accidents that take place on roads in the U.S. At least one critic of the agreement reached between the NHTSA and automakers fears that the absence of legally binding regulations and penalties for noncompliance by manufacturers means there is no guarantee that the automakers that the companies will comply with having the accident avoidance technology and no penalty if they are lie about having it.

Rear-end crashes and other types of motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injury or death. Collision avoidance systems may eventually reduce the number of highway accidents, but until the technology is available in all vehicles, car accident victims can seek compensation for medical expenses and other damages.

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