Accidents are a very real danger on the road. We don’t plan for them; we feel that we can avoid them by driving defensively. But there are some instances in which an accident is unavoidable. That is why they are referred to as ‘accidents’ and not ‘intended collisions’.
The highest percentage of all automobile accidents are rear-end collisions. In a mere three seconds at 75 miles per hour, a vehicle can go the distance of a football field. Looking away for just a moment could cost someone their life.
Professor Clay Gabler and Biomedical Engineer Kristofer Kusano of Virginia Tech are working to alleviate or at least minimize rear end collisions. Their studies and research are centered around “Safety Benefits of Forward Collision Warning, Brake Assist, and Autonomous Braking Systems in Rear-End Collisions”.
The research evaluated over 1,000 instances of rear-end collision to determine if the implementation of cutting edge autonomous braking systems, brake assisting and collision warning systems would have had a positive impact. In over 7% of the cases evaluated, if all three systems were in use, the crash would have been completely prevented.
Further more, in 50% of the cases all three systems would have reduced potential injuries. While we may be a ways off from seeing these systems become as common as the air-bag, the research is showing very positive results in favor of these systems becoming standardized.