Advanced safety technology such as automatic emergency braking could reduce road deaths by 29%,...

Advanced safety technology such as automatic emergency braking could reduce road deaths by 29%, according to AAA.

Screenshot via MyCarDoesWhat/YouTube.

Approximately 40% of crashes, 37% of injuries and 29% of fatalities involving passenger vehicles could be avoided by equipping all cars, pickup trucks, vans, minivans, and sport utility vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems, according to a recent analysis from the AAA Foundation.

For example, the research found that there were an estimated 1.99 million crashes, 884,000 injuries and 4,738 deaths that could have been potentially prevented by forward collision warning or automatic emergency braking systems in 2016 alone.

The report, from the AAA Foundation, examines the potential for these technologies to mitigate the severity of crashes. Specifically, in addition to a forward collision warning and automatic braking, the report examines lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, and blind spot monitoring systems. Adaptive cruise control and parking assistance system are not included in the review.

Consider land departure warnings and lane keeping systems. The research shows that in 2016, an estimated 519,000 crashes, 187,000 injuries, and 4,654 deaths could potentially have been prevented or mitigated by the use of this technology.

The research also evaluated crashes in which the driver was attempting to change lanes, merge, pass another vehicle, or turn across multiple lanes of traffic and struck or was struck by another vehicle that was traveling in the same direction in an adjacent lane, with the impact occurring on the side or rear of the vehicle that was changing lanes.

In 2016, there were an estimated 349,000 such crashes resulting in 100,000 injuries, and 348 deaths in 2016. But the authors note that had blind-spot monitoring been fully utilized a good number — specifically, 318,000 crashes, 89,000 injuries, and 274 deaths — could potentially have been prevented. 

Overall, the results of the report suggest that if all passenger vehicles in the U.S. were equipped with the technologies examined — and that the technologies prevented all of the crashes that they were theoretically capable of preventing — they could plausibly have prevented slightly less than one-third of all deaths that occurred in crashes involving passenger vehicles.