By 2022, automatic braking should be standard

Automatic braking systems will be standard on most cars in Illinois and the rest of the country by 2022. These systems, which automatically brake the vehicle when the driver either fails to apply the brakes or doesn’t use enough pressure to avoid an accident, have been shown to decrease the risk of accidents by 20 percent.

The deal was announced between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers that are responsible for around 99 percent of all light vehicle sales in the U.S. The automakers will receive more time to install the systems in certain cars, such as those with manual transmissions, because they pose greater technical difficulties.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an average of 5 million crashes happen each year in the country. With a 20 percent crash incidence reduction, that would mean the systems could prevent 1 million crashes a year that would otherwise happen. In 2012, rear-end collisions hurt 547,000 people and killed 1,705 more. The systems could prevent many of these deaths and injuries, as these types of accidents are often attributable to driver distraction.

Improvements in safety systems may help reduce the risk of suffering a serious injury because of a distracted driver. People who are injured by negligent drivers are sometimes left facing lifetime disabilities and are unable to return to gainful employment which incurring significant medical and rehabilitation expenses. Texting and driving is against the law in most states, but it can also be deemed negligence. Injured victims may thus want the help of a personal injury lawyer in obtaining compensation from the at-fault motorist for their losses.