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New braking systems to slash whiplash injuries

The Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems use a variety of recently developed technologies, including radar, cameras and lasers, to automatically stop vehicles before they hit pedestrians.

Test results carried out by Thatcham and Loughborough University show that the incorporation of these systems into all production models would prevent more than 650 serious injuries and 64 fatalities in Britain each year.

The systems would mean that more than 2,700 pedestrian casualties would not happen across the UK each year.

In addition, Thatcham estimates that 160,000 whiplash injuries caused each year by the most common crash – the rear end shunt - would also be prevented.

Of these whiplash injuries, 16,000 are rated as serious with 1,600 causing permanent disability or impairment.

The research estimates that more than 270,000 crashes will be either prevented or mitigated once AEB systems are ubiquitous across the fleet.

Teams of researchers accompanied emergency services to record real life data at the scene of hundreds of accidents across the country.

Six systems have been tested by vehicle manufacturers including BMW, Ford, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo and Mercedes.

Thatcham Research Manager Crash Matthew Avery said: "These systems are set to make a massive impact on the number and severity of accidents on British roads and beyond.

"I believe that in time they will prove as or more effective than the arrival of Electronic Stability Control have been over the last decade or so.

"We are working alongside vehicle manufacturers to help develop them further in the future – and would encourage the inclusion of such systems as standard fit in new cars.

 

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