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Automatic braking systems to be standard by 2022

Most cars sold in the state of Texas could have automatic braking systems by as early as 2022. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been working on an agreement with major automobile manufacturers to install the safety systems in almost all vehicles sold in America.

Along with the ten major manufacturers who took the lead in these negotiations, the NHTSA plans to add more manufacturers in the final agreement until the last draft covers about 99 percent of cars and light trucks sold in America. Vehicles with manual transmissions are more challenging to install with automatic braking systems, so the implementation of the agreement as it relates to them will be delayed slightly.

Automatic braking systems have proven themselves to be a deterrent to car accidents. Whether the system warns the driver when something is encroaching on the vehicle's space or the system brings the car to a halt automatically when something is detected, the devices have been shown to reduce the accident rate by as much as 20 percent. That would lead to about 1 million fewer car crashes in a year, with a concomitant reduction in injury, fatality and property damage.

Although these systems may be effective in preventing many accidents, the driver is still legally responsible for the operation of their vehicle and their safe conduct on the road. If they are irresponsible, negligent or in clear violation of the law at the time of an accident, then they may be served with a civil suit that delineates who has been hurt and the damages done. An attorney is often helpful in the creation and prosecution of a civil suit.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Automatic Braking, Due by 2022 in U.S. Cars, Could Prevent 20% of All Crashes", David Shepardson, March 17, 2016

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