New rear collision avoidance systems can substantially reduce backup crashes throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of America, according to a new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, the technology is currently available as an option in only 5 percent of new vehicles.

The study found that vehicles featuring rear automatic braking systems were 62 percent less likely to be involved in backup crashes than vehicles without the technology. When rear automatic braking was paired with rearview cameras and sensors, backup accidents were reduced by 78 percent. The IIHS, which tested vehicles with the full combination of technology, found that the 2017 Subaru Outback and the 2017 Cadillac XT5 SUV were the best at avoiding rear collisions.

Traffic safety experts believe rear collision avoidance systems will prevent property damage as well as pedestrian accidents. Beginning in May, all new U.S. cars and trucks will come standard with rearview cameras. By 2022, the majority of new vehicles will come standard with front automatic braking systems. However, there is currently no timetable to require rear automatic braking systems in all vehicles.

Backup car accidents can cause significant property damage, serious injuries and even deaths. Therefore, it may be advisable for the victim of a backup crash to speak with an attorney about their legal options. Depending on the details of the case, it could be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. If a victim is killed by a reversing driver, their family could pursue a wrongful death claim.