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What is front-crash prevention, and does it work?

We often address road-related safety issues and new crash-avoidance technologies in our blog posts, so we'll just assume that regular readers of our entries know something about today's headline-referenced front-crash prevention noted above.

For those who are wondering a bit about that concept, though, a summary tutorial will certain suffice to, well, drive home what that technology is all about.

In a nutshell: A front-crash prevention system on a vehicle is vehicle-embedded technology that essentially operates as an automatic braking assist.

And how helpful might that be to a driver who just isn't slowing down or coming to a stop quickly enough to avoid ramming into another vehicle from behind?

For obvious reasons, and provided it works, braking-assist systems are heralded as top-shelf safety tools and stellar performers in the universe of all the gadgetry that is being developed for today's vehicle fleet (with even better results envisioned for the future).

So, a couple obvious questions: Does the technology work? And, if so, to what extent?

Initial research findings come right to the point, with a study of multiple rear-end accidents from a number of states as reported by police departments and subsequently analyzed by a research team from the national Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showing big gains from brake-assist systems.

The results strongly pointed to the efficacy of such systems, with data stressing that cars employing them reduced rear-end accidents by approximately 40 percent.

And not only that. Researchers say that, even when there is a collision, occupants in both involved vehicles often suffer reduced injuries when the car striking from behind is equipped with front-crash prevention technology.

The reason for that is obvious: The brakes being employed prior to a crash slow the impact speed.

Many brake-assist systems are optional equipment on newer vehicle models. Their strong safety showing, though, has led to regulators pushing for their adoption as standard inclusions on future passenger cars and trucks.

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