Buying a new car? Insist it has Autonomous Emergency Braking and you could help save hundreds of lives, say road safety and motor industry bodies.
According to a coalition that includes experts on car and road design, fleet operations, driving for work, driver training and human behaviour, cars fitted with AEB systems could potentially save a total of 1,100 lives and 122,860 injuries over the next 10 years.
AEB systems scan the road ahead and will apply the brakes to avoid an impending crash with another vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist. While more manufacturers now offer the technology on their models, it is not standard equipment – so the answer is to persuade both private buyers and fleet managers to insist on AEB.
“There’s an urgent need to change the consumer and fleet mind-set around car safety, especially when AEB can cost as little as £200,” says Peter Shaw, CEO of the UK’s Euro NCAP crash test representative Thatcham Research.
“Safety should be a deal-breaker, not a nice to have – if it doesn’t have AEB, it shouldn’t be a sale,” Shaw adds.
The call also has the full backing of the UK’s industry commercial vehicle body the Road Haulage Association. “Measures such as this need very little consideration – if the system has the potential to save lives then what’s to consider?” says CEO Richard Burnett.
“AEB systems have been fitted as standard to almost all newly registered heavy goods vehicles since November 2015. No matter how good a driver’s skills may be, the road network remains a dangerous place and any measure that can be taken to reduce that danger and the subsequent reduction in the risk of accidents is an obvious solution to a long standing, and distressing problem.”
According to the coalition, more buyers choosing AEB with their next car could result in 308 fewer deaths by 2025, and in the process save society £138 million.