Studies have revealed that automatic emergency braking (AEB) significantly reduces rear-end collisions involving pickups. In spite of this promising news from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these types of vehicles are less likely to have the technology.
AEB systems employ cameras and radar to detect and subsequently detect a vehicle traveling too close to the transport in front of them. From there, the driver is warned of the potential oncoming accident. Concurrently, the brakes are pre-charged to maximize effectiveness and subsequently apply the brakes should the operator not respond.
Statistics reveal that pickups account for twenty percent of passenger vehicles and can be significantly more dangerous. Yet, not all manufacturers have completely embraced AEB and additional crash avoidance systems in these types of transports.
The need for innovation to save lives and livelihoods
An examination of accidents reported by law enforcement between 2017 to 2020 and encompassing 25 states revealed troubling data when it comes to pickups rear-ending other vehicles. Those with AEB came in at 43 percent lower than the same vehicles lacking the technology. Crashes resulting in injuries were 42 percent lower.
Conversely, pickups without AEB also failed to have systems that can avoid pedestrians in their path. Incorporating the systems could reduce that category of injuries and deaths by 27 percent. The IIHS study also revealed that the systems are not as effective during evening hours.
IIHS conducted an earlier study covering all passenger vehicles, revealing reductions in rear crashes by 50 percent and those with injuries at 56 percent. A separate review covering larger trucks and tractor-trailers revealed the potential elimination of accidents by 41 percent. Those findings indicate that AEB could be more effective when vehicles are traveling at higher speeds.
Until automatic emergency brake systems are universally incorporated in all vehicles, drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians remain at risk of accidents that often turn out to be preventable.