Thanks to the latest advances in technology, today’s vehicles are safer than ever, offering a range of accident avoidance features that help protect motorists from dangerous, potentially life-threatening car accidents. A growing number of automobile manufacturers are offering a wide range of these safety technologies in their newer models, although it is usually an optional feature. However, a growing number of manufacturers have agreed to include some of these life-saving safety features as a standard feature.
Forward auto-braking, also known as forward-collision mitigation, is an example of one of the most recent advances in safety technology. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a study of U.S. police-reported crash data indicates that this feature can reduce rear-end collisions by approximately 40 percent. Injuries resulting from these types of wrecks can be reduced by up to 30 percent.
Until recently, these advanced safety features have only been offered as an optional feature, and were only available in a limited number of models, usually the highest trim levels in a particular line of vehicle. In addition, in many cases, the feature was only offered as part of a costly bundle of features, many of which customers may not need or want. Fortunately for consumers, that is beginning to change.
By the year 2022, 20 major automakers – including Toyota and Lexus – have agreed to offer forward auto-braking as a standard feature in most, if not all of their models. Even lower-priced models like the Toyota Corolla compact sedan will be equipped with this safety feature. Considering the fact that auto-braking technology had been largely limited to more costly, luxury models, this provides consumers with a range of vehicle choices that are safe and cost-effective.
Auto-Braking Technology Performance Ratings
According to the IIHS, not all auto-braking systems perform equally well. To determine which vehicles performed the best, they crash-tested the vehicles and evaluated each new vehicle’s forward collision mitigation system. They gave each car a rating of “basic,” “advanced,” or “superior” based on their overall effectiveness. Cars received a “basic” rating if they offered a collision warning system that would alert the driver to a potential crash. Vehicles that received an “advanced” rating had to include the auto-braking function that enabled the vehicle to avoid a car accident or reduce the speed by a minimum of 5 mph in one of two tests driving at a speed of 12 and 25 mph. Vehicles that received a “superior” rating were able to avoid a crash and significantly reduce speed in both tests.
The following list, which includes 19 cars and crossover SUVs from 2017, is based on the latest IIHS safety ratings. Each of the following vehicles received at least a “good” rating for front, side, and roof strength, as well as head restraint performance:
Lexus ES 350
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (sedan)
Toyota Prius Prime
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