Collision Avoidance Technology



Blindspot warnings:

These systems use sensors to monitor your vehicle’s blind spots and alert you if a vehicle is in those side blind spot areas. The sensors do not detect objects directly in front or behind your vehicle. The systems typically offer a visual alert on your side mirrors with some systems providing an audio alert as well. Some advanced systems will apply gentle automatic braking to guide you back into your lane if an object is detected in your blind spot. Blind spot warning systems can be turned on or off usually with a button somewhere in your vehicle.

Lane Departure warnings:

According to IIHS, vehicles with land departure warnings have lower crash rates. These systems use sensors and cameras to determine your vehicle’s location in your driving lane. If your vehicle begins to drift into another lane the system will provide audio and/or visual alerts for the driver. Some advanced systems can even guide you back into your lane.

Drowsy Driver Alerts:

Drowsy driving alert systems use sensors and cameras to monitor your driving behaviors and use cues to determine if you might be drowsy. They may provide visual, audio or vibrating seat warnings to remind you to stay focused or pull over for rest. Some advanced systems monitor your eyes and blinking patterns using a camera.

Smart headlight systems:

When driving at night, smart headlight systems use cameras and sensors to detect a change in conditions to adjust the light for safer night driving. They can automatically turn your high beam headlights on to provide better visibility for night driving and off to prevent blinding oncoming traffic. Some systems can also adapt lights to curved roads.

Parking Assist Technology:

These systems use proximity sensors and cameras to see objects on all sides of your vehicle and help you park your vehicle in difficult to park spots. Systems vary in their requirements for driver involvement, like controlling the gas and brake pedals.

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Like regular cruise control, it allows the driver to set a certain speed. Adaptive cruise control uses sensors to automatically maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of your vehicle. These systems can slow down and accelerate to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. Some systems allow you to set your own preferred gap distance or the space you wish to remain away from vehicles in front of you. Refer to your owner’s manual to learn more about your system.


What are automatic emergency braking systems?

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems detect an impending forward crash with another vehicle in time to avoid or mitigate the crash. These systems first alert the driver to take corrective action to avoid the crash. If the driver’s response is not sufficient to avoid the crash, the AEB system may automatically apply the brakes to assist in preventing or reducing the severity of a crash. NHTSA believes these technologies represent the next wave of potentially significant advances in vehicle safety. AEB systems, such as dynamic brake support (DBS) and crash imminent braking (CIB), have the potential not only to save lives but also to reduce moderate and less severe rear-end crashes that are common on our roadways.

Dynamic Brake Support versus Crash Imminent Braking

If the driver brakes but not hard enough to avoid the crash, dynamic brake support (DBS) automatically supplements the driver’s braking in an effort to avoid the crash. If the driver does not take any action to avoid the crash, crash imminent braking (CIB) automatically applies the vehicle’s brakes to slow or stop the car, avoiding the crash or reducing its severity.

In 2012, one-third of all police-reported crashes involved a rear-end collision with another vehicle as the first harmful event in the crash, and NHTSA believes that advanced crash avoidance and mitigation technologies like AEB systems could help in this area. NHTSA’s extensive research on this technology and on relevant performance measures showed that a number of AEB systems currently available in the marketplace are capable of avoiding or reducing the severity of rear-end crashes in certain situations.


What is pedestrian automatic emergency braking?

A pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB) system—also known as frontal pedestrian impact mitigation braking—is an emerging safety technology that provides automatic braking for vehicles when pedestrians are in front of the vehicle and the driver has not acted to avoid a crash.

How does it work?

A PAEB system is a crash avoidance system that uses information from forward-looking sensors to automatically apply or supplement the brakes when the system determines a pedestrian is in danger of being hit by a vehicle. PAEB systems typically use cameras, but some also use a combination of cameras and radar sensors.

What types of crashes does it prevent?

Many pedestrian crashes occur when a pedestrian is crossing the street in front of the vehicle. Four common pedestrian crash scenarios include when the vehicle is:

  1. Heading straight and a pedestrian is crossing the road;
  2. Turning right and a pedestrian is crossing the road;
  3. Turning left and a pedestrian is crossing the road; and
  4. Heading straight and a pedestrian is walking along or against traffic.



A forward collision warning (FCW) system is an advanced safety technology that monitors a vehicle’s speed, the speed of the vehicle in front of it, and the distance between the vehicles. If vehicles get too close due to the speed of the rear vehicle, the FCW system will warn that driver of an impending crash. It’s important to note that FCW systems do not take full control of the vehicle or keep the driver from operating it.


FCW systems use sensors to detect slower-moving or stationary vehicles. When the distance between vehicles becomes so short that a crash is imminent, a signal alerts the driver so that the driver can apply the brakes or take evasive action, such as steering, to prevent a potential crash. Vehicles with this technology provide drivers with an audible alert, a visual display, or other warning signals, and in this way, help prevent frontal crashes into the rear of slower moving or stopped vehicles.


Yes. FCW systems meet NHTSA’s performance specifications, and we recommend you look for this technology when shopping for a vehicle. FCW systems are an option on many new cars, SUVs and trucks. To find out if FCW is available in the vehicle you’re interested in buying, visit NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings and search for 2011 vehicles and newer.