Since its inception, automatic emergency braking was believed to be a major breakthrough in vehicle safety. Now, a study of certain vehicles and their use of emergency braking has shown that automatic brakes may be even more helpful in avoiding accidents than experts first imagined. If true, this could be great news for all Virginia drivers.

The study, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, reviewed data collected from 2013-2015 model vehicles. All of the vehicles were built by General Motors, including Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet offerings. The study took data provided by GM identifying what vehicles had emergency breaking and then compared that to police accident reports to determine how often vehicles with automatic emergency braking failed to prevent motor vehicle accidents.

GM vehicles actually offer two different types of automatic emergency braking: Front Automatic Braking and Forward Collision Alert. Front Automatic Braking senses impending rear-end collisions and intervenes by applying the brakes automatically. Forward Collision Alert also anticipates rear-end collisions but merely provides the driver with an audible warning.

In the study, GM vehicles with automatic emergency braking were involved in 43 percent fewer rear-end collisions than other vehicles. These vehicles were also in 64 percent fewer accidents with injuries than cars without an automatic emergency braking system.

Despite these advances in technology, it is unlikely that motor vehicle accidents and the injuries that come with them will ever be completely eliminated. An individual injured in a motor vehicle accident may have a claim for monetary damages if another party was responsible for the collision. These damages might include medical bills, pain and suffering, vehicle repair bills and lost wages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to assist in collecting those damages through the filing of a civil lawsuit.