Driver Assistance Technologies- Sorting Through The Options (Part 1)

technologyIn 2016, over 37,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents. The majority of fatal crashes each year are due to driver error, or driver choice, and most are preventable. In addition to awareness programs bringing attention to drunk driving and distracted driving, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) is fervently promoting motor vehicle technologies that can potentially reduce the number of crashes caused each year that result in death and personal injury. We often hear about these new automobile technologies, but the choices can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you are not a technology buff. In this Tapalian Law personal injury blog we will break down some of the options recognized by the NHTSA and explain how they can support motorists with further awareness and hopefully decrease the number of harmful auto crashes causing death and personal injury in Rhode Island and all over the U.S. If you are in the market to purchase a new vehicle, many of these features are currently available on newer vehicles as special options so you may want to explore these features further to determine what safety technologies are most important to you when shopping for a new car, truck, or SUV.

Automatic Emergency Braking Systems (AEB)

How They Work: Automatic Emergency Braking Systems, also called AEB, use a combination of sensors to detect an impending forward crash with another vehicle in time to avoid, or reduce, the effects of the crash.  Once an impending crash is sensed, the first step in the system is to alert the driver, (possibly by sound, display on the dashboard, or both), to take corrective action. If the driver does not take action to avoid the crash, the AEB system may take over and automatically apply the brakes to prevent or diminish the impact of the crash.

One-third of all police reported crashes in 2012 involved a rear end collision with another vehicle. Vehicles equipped with an AEB system could potentially prevent and lessen the severity of these common rear-end crashes, and corresponding injury, that we see so often as RI personal injury attorneys. NHTSA research shows that a number of these currently available systems are prove to be capable of avoiding or diminishing the severity of rear-end crashes in particular situations.

Pedestrian Automatic Braking System (PAEB)

How They Work: Similar to AEB systems, the Pedestrian Automatic Braking System (PAEB), uses a combination of sensors and cameras to detect a pedestrian in danger of being hit by a forward moving vehicle. The system will first alert the driver to the pedestrian and if appropriate action isn’t taken by the vehicle operator, the PAEB system will automatically apply the brakes in hopes of avoiding hitting the pedestrian. The PAEB system is also known as frontal pedestrian impact mitigation braking.

Pedestrian accidents often occur when a pedestrian is crossing the street in front of a vehicle. Pedestrian crashes are most frequent when a vehicle is heading straight and a pedestrian is crossing the road; turning right or left and a pedestrian is crossing the road; or heading straight and a pedestrian is walking alongside or against traffic. The NHTSA recognizes this technology as a potentially life-saving feature that may be added to the list of recommended technologies down the road.

Backup Cameras (Rearview Video Systems)

How They Work: Backup cameras provide an image of the area behind the vehicle to the driver to act as a so-called “second set of eyes” to view what is behind the vehicle. This technology is extremely helpful in preventing backover accidents whose victims are most commonly children and senior citizens. When the vehicle operator shifts into reverse, an image of behind the vehicle is displayed in the dashboard or rearview mirror, depending on the type of car, SUV, or truck.

Tapalian Law posted a blog about Preventing Backover Accidents, which delves further into the benefits of these camera systems. In the blog, we also provide additional tips for preventing backover incidents. The most common victims of these heart-breaking tragedies are children under age 5 and in the majority of these cases, it is a family member operating the vehicle that backs over the child resulting in death or serious injury. In May 2018, the NHTSA will require this life-saving technology on all new vehicles.

Contact Tapalian Law If You Have Been Injured in a Providence Auto Accident

Its imperative to stress that these automobile technologies, although potentially a huge preventative measure against car accident fatalities and personal injury, are not a substitute for safe driving practices. They are an additional safety tool and not to be completely relied upon as the sole safety measure by the driver. If you have been injured in a car accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, contact Attorney David Tapalian and the experienced Providence personal injury attorneys at Tapalian Law. For a free consultation on your car accident or personal injury case, contact us today at


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