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Major automakers agree to automatic brakes by 2022

Louisiana motorists could in the relatively near future be driving cars that can put on the brakes automatically if automakers make good on a promise. Ten automakers have agreed to install automatic emergency brake systems in their vehicles by 2022, as part of an agreement between the companies and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The cars included in the agreement will represent almost 100 percent of light vehicles sold in the United States.

In September 2015 the NHTSA announced plans for the deal, which was formally agreed to on March 17 by automakers including Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG. The final deal will include additional companies.

Emergency braking systems are designed for situations in which drivers either do not apply the brakes or do not apply enough pressure to the brakes to prevent a collision. Some types of cars, such as those with manual transmission, present more of a challenge to automakers in installing the automatic braking systems, and for these types of cars the agreement allows automakers more time to add the technology.

The agreement was reached with the aid of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which says that automatic braking systems could prevent as many as 20 percent of motor vehicle crashes. Automatic braking systems have been found to be particularly helpful in preventing or lessening the severity of rear-end collisions.

While many rear-end accidents are merely fender benders, others can result in serious injuries. Many of these types of collisions are caused by the motorist in the rear vehicle who is distracted by texting and driving, and an occupant of the car that is hit from behind and who is injured as a result may want legal assistance in seeking compensation from the negligent motorist.

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