You’ve probably assumed that the automatic brake system (ABS) in your car was there to save your life. In exchange for its maintenance, including replacing the brake pads around every 20,000 miles, you might’ve assumed the ABS system would prevent crashes — but according to the American Automobile Association, this simply is not always so.
According to the AAA, some systems are only intended to reduce the severity of accidents, as they announced in a recently published study. Few drivers are aware of this critical fact.
The study found that there is a wide performance gap when it comes to new brake technology, which automatically activates the brakes in situations where a driver might fail to do so. This feature is expected to be a fully standard feature in all U.S. cars by 2022.
The study tested five 2016 model vehicles — Volvo XC 90, Subaru Legacy, Lincoln MKX, Honda Civic, and Volkswagen Passat — and surveyed 1,000 U.S. drivers to gauge both buying habits and trust in automatic emergency brakes.
It was found that those systems that were designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speed by nearly twice that of those that are simply meant to lessen crash intensity. The preventative systems were found to succeed in avoiding collisions 60% of the time in certain tests, while the second type of system only avoided collisions 33% of the time.
The lack of understanding about the different kinds of ABS could lead to the placement of dangerous and possibly deadly confidence by drivers in their automated technology — and lead them to take more risks on the road.