Browse Publications Technical Papers 2021-01-0874

Do Driver Characteristics and Crash Conditions Modify the Effectiveness of Automatic Emergency Braking? 2021-01-0874

Studies of automatic emergency braking (AEB) find that AEB-equipped vehicles are around half as likely to crash. This study examines whether driver characteristics and road and weather conditions modify this preventive effect of AEB.
Toyota production data were merged with police reported crash files from eight U.S. states for crash years 2015 up to 2019 by 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN). Using a case-control design, this study investigated the relationship of AEB presence with being a case vehicle in a system-relevant crash (the striking vehicle in front-to-rear crash; n=30,056) versus an AEB non-relevant control vehicle (the struck vehicle in a front-to-rear crash; n=62,820). The analysis was stratified by driver characteristics and by weather and road conditions. Logistic regression modeled the relationship, controlling for exposure (vehicle-days) and possible confounding factors. The resulting odds ratios for AEB equipment from the separate models were compared to determine if the effect of AEB presence was modified by the characteristic or condition of interest.
Overall, AEB-equipped vehicles were 43% (p<0.001) less likely to be the striking (case) vehicle compared to non-equipped vehicles. However, the preventive effect of AEB was significantly lower among older drivers (over 65 years) compared to younger drivers; 29% less likely to be a striking vehicle (OR=0.71) versus 46% (OR=0.54), respectively. The effect of AEB was also lower in adverse weather conditions (rain, fog, snow) (OR=0.66) and on wet or snowy roads (OR=0.65), though these differences were not significant compared to clear weather and dry roads. The AEB effect was also lower among risk-taking drivers (alcohol-involved, speeding, or unrestrained) compared to non-risk-taking (OR=0.72 versus OR=0.59, respectively).
AEB prevents crashes, regardless of driver characteristics and environmental conditions. This study suggests, however, that the size of the effect is smaller among older and risk-taking drivers, and in adverse weather and road conditions.


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