The Impact of Automatic Braking on the Collision Repair Industry

The addition of more and more collision mitigation features on today’s vehicles has many collision repair professionals worried about the future of the collision repair inter-industry. The concern is that if vehicles automatically brake to avoid a collision, there won’t be any vehicles to fix anymore. Is this a fact or fiction?

It could be fiction, at least for the immediate future, according to an article by The Detroit News (Study: Automatic brakes not guaranteed to stop cars). The article explains that though the automatic brake can prevent some collisions, it is not a guarantee that the car will stop fast enough to avoid the collision altogether. The system, however, can slow the vehicle down enough to reduce the amount of damages to the vehicle, and personal injury to the occupants.

So, what does this mean for collision repairers? It could likely mean a reduction in total losses and an increase in repairable vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has done studies proving this to be true. In the study they simulated a rear end collision, between two vehicles. One test was done with automatic braking and one without. The collision without automatic braking caused $28,000 in damage to the car being struck, while the collision with automatic braking caused $5,700 to the vehicle being struck. Check out the IIHS website for more information and additional topics.

So, the reduction of speed in collisions may actually boost the repairability of cars, leading to more work for repair facilities, and happier customers. While there may be fewer collisions occurring, there could be more vehicles coming through the shop door with less severity.

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