Consumer Reports backs forward collision warning in all cars

Automotive safety has made dramatic improvements over the past decades, with seatbelts, airbags, electronic stability control, and sophisticated body structures all demonstrably reducing injuries and deaths. Consumer Reports feels the next critical advance involves forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. This proven, life-saving technology would have such a positive impact on safety that Consumer Reports has called for it to be standard on all new cars.

That’s why the organization is pleased with today’s announcement by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). At the dedication of IIHS’ expanded Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Va., the safety organization and NHTSA jointly announced that 10 automakers have committed to making automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard: Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

Automatic emergency braking systems could drastically reduce rear-end crashes—either in avoiding them altogether, or at least reducing the velocity of the collision. The price-per-car for a frontal-collision warning system is $250 to $400—a fraction of the typical charge for an ambulance ride.

“Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking is the biggest safety advancement since the introduction of stability control over two decades ago,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. “This is such an important safety feature that all other manufacturers should bring it to their vehicles as soon as possible.”

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