distracted driver
Mandatory braking technology could slash road deaths

New research by Monash University has found that road deaths and serious injuries could be cut almost 10 per cent if all vehicles had autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems.

The study looked at crashes between 2013 and 2016, including those involving vehicles fitted with AEB technology, and how likely AEB could have an affect on the outcome of the crash.

AEB applies the brakes when a car senses impact. It is currently most effective at slower speeds, however lead researcher Professor Stuart Newstead said the technology is getting better.

“Systems are developing and are getting more effective at higher speed and getting more effective at potentially fixed-object crashes which are the very severe ones we see in rural areas."

"And with ability to add pedestrian and cyclist protection, these are the minimum benefits you could expect,’’

Currently around 60% of new cars have AEB fitted, but if it was mandatory in every new car then notable reductions in road deaths and serious injuries could be made.

Bicycle Network has long been calling for autonomous vehicle technology to be made mandatory. If someone makes a mistake behind the wheel, technology such as AEB can override that error and stop or reduce the severity of a crash.

With mobile phones continuing to be a source of distraction for drivers, requiring all new cars to be fitted with features such as AEB will improve road safety for all road users.

In Bicycle Network’s distracted driving survey, 35.7% of bike riders said they saw distracted driving every time they road, and a 97.8% said they had seen a driver use a mobile phone.

The RACV has also backed in AEB, with senior manager Peter Kartsidimas  saying that the technology should be compulsory.

“With congestion worsening and driver distraction increasing, RACV is urging the federal government to make AEB a mandatory feature for all new vehicles,”  Mr Kartsidimas told the Herald Sun.

Distracted driving is one of Bicycle Network’s ongoing campaigns.

Click here to read Monash's research paper The Potential Benefits of Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems in Australia.

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