Auto Service World
News   January 31, 2023   by Adam Malik

The key safety feature most pickups are missing

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Despite tests that show a significant reduction in collisions, pickup trucks are less likely to be equipped with crash avoidance technology.

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that Automatic emergency braking (AEB) reduces rear-end crash rates for pickups dramatically. But you’re more likely to find the feature on cars and SUVs.

Study author Jessica Cicchino, vice president of research at IIHS, noted that pickups make up 20 per cent of passenger vehicles. With their large size, they can be dangerous to people in smaller vehicles and pedestrians.

“Nevertheless, manufacturers have been slow to equip them with AEB and other crash avoidance systems,” she said.

AEB systems use sensors to detect when a vehicle is getting too close when trailing another. Typically, a warning alerts the driver while the vehicle pre-charges the brakes to maximize their effect. It will apply the brakes automatically if the driver doesn’t respond.

Police-reported crashes from 25 states from 2017-2020 were examined. It was found that the rate at which pickups rear-ended other vehicles was 43 per cent lower for pickups equipped with AEB than for those without it. Rear-end injury crash rates were 42 per cent lower.

“These numbers confirm that AEB is reducing crashes for pickups, just as it is for cars, SUVs and large trucks,” said Cicchino. “The faster automakers can make sure that every pickup they sell has this important safety feature, the better.”

IIHS noted the importance of AEB on pickups because of their popularity and size — pickups can weigh almost 5,000 pounds on average. An SUV is about 4,100 pounds while a car is just 3,200 pounds.

AEV was standard on 5 per cent of the registered pickups on U.S. roads in 2021, compared with 10 per cent of cars and 18 per cent of SUVs, IIHS reported. The feature was optional on 10 per cent of pickups, 15 per cent of cars and 22 per cent of SUVs.

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