Accident-Prevention Systems

Automatic emergency-braking systems prevent car accidents. But many manufacturers don’t offer this safety feature or offer it only on some models.

That’s about to change.

Twenty automakers have just committed to making this lifesaving feature standard by 2022. Consumer Reports evaluates these safety systems and says they have the potential to be important lifesavers.

Collision-prevention systems use a laser, radar, or camera to anticipate a frontal crash. Automatic emergency braking kicks in as the vehicle approaches an object, without the driver even touching the pedal.

About 60 percent of all new cars offer similar safety technology, but often as an optional package costing $500 to $3,000 extra.

Consumer Reports will continue to evaluate these systems as they are introduced. It has changed its car-rating system, giving bonus points to vehicles that include this safety technology standard on all its trim lines.

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