Backup cameras and autobraking are key safety advances, insurance institute says

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Fender benders that are all too common in parking lots and driveways can be prevented with the use of technology according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

It conducted a study that found that when several crash avoidance systems are combined they substantially reduce crashes that happen while backing up.

For most driver, backing into traffic or a parking lot can be a real challenge.

For years, drivers had to have their head on a swivel to avoid a crash.

Back-up cameras helped, but the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety says combining those cameras with even more technology is better for your safety and wallet.

Low speed back-up crashes happen all the time, and it seems like every driver can tell you about a close call they had while backing up.

“I went up on the curb trying to back up,” said driver Brendan McLaughlin, who told CBS North Carolina backing up his is one of the things he’d rather avoid.

As technology improved, automakers began adding back-up cameras and cross-traffic alerts, and the IIHS says the best results for avoiding back up accidents are when those features are paired with automatic braking.

“If you combine sensors with rear cameras you get about a 40 percent reduction in backing-up crashes, and if you combine sensors with cameras and autobrake you get a 78 percent reduction,” said David Zuby, who is the chief research officer for the institute.

In its tests of six different models, the institute says the Cadillac xt5 and Subaru Outback earned superior ratings.

To achieve a superior IIHS rating, a vehicle must have a rear autobrake system that can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in many of the test scenarios, which involve multiple runs at about 4 mph.

Those automotive safety systems were assigned points based on the number of runs that either avoided or barely hit a target, and reduced speeds to less than 1 mph.

Four models got advanced IIHS ratings.

They are BMW 5 series sedan, the Infiniti QX60, the Jeep Cherokee and the Toyota Prius

To achieve an advanced rating, a vehicle must have rear autobrake and avoid a crash or reduce speeds in some of the scenarios.

Vehicles that only have parking sensors and/or rear cross-traffic alert earned a basic rating.

You can read detailed information on all the ratings here.

Right now, rear auto braking is only available in about 5 percent of 2018 models and drivers CBS North Carolina spoke with say they like that option.

“If that’s what I had, I’d take it,” said driver Jamar Mack.

And the institute says you ought to make those systems a priority in your new car choice.

“Our data would suggest a lot of people have trouble backing up, and a lot of crashes occur under those circumstances, so we would recommend people seek out this technology,” said Zuby.

Currently, automatic braking systems are designed to sense only hard objects like poles or cars, but automakers say they are working on systems that detect humans in a car’s path too.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

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