Ensuring all vans come with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard could prevent almost 350 deaths and serious injuries each year.
So says Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles following analysis of Department for Transport van accident statistics.
The research found 2,496 incidents involving vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes in 2016 could have been avoided if AEB had been fitted, preventing 348 deaths and serious injuries.
The van manufacturer, which last year became the first to fit AEB as standard, is now calling for the rest of the industry to take more proactive action on AEB. The technology is regarded as ‘probably the most significant development in vehicle safety since the seat belt’ by Thatcham Research while a 2015 study by Euro NCAP and the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) found that AEB leads to a 38% reduction in real-world rear-end crashes.
AEB systems also have the potential to cut third-party insurance claims by 45% while vehicles fitted with autonomous emergency braking also benefit from an average insurance premium saving of 10% compared to those without.
Matthew Avery, director of research, Thatcham Research, said: “With the number of accidents involving vans increasing year on year, AEB’s proven ability to avoid and mitigate collisions should not be overlooked.”