April 26, 2012

Motor insurance and repair research organisation Thatcham appears to be labouring under the touchingly naive illusion that whiplash injury claims are in some way related to the frequency and severity of RTAs. Based on this frankly bizarre assumption, Thatcham are claiming in their latest press release that Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems hold the key to banishing the current whiplash epidemic.

Speaking at the Lyons Davidson International Whiplash Conference “alongside,” as the release proudly notes, “some of the world’s leading experts on the topic,” Thatcham research chief Matt Aviary claimed that radar-based AEB technology, which brakes when drivers fail to do so, will reduce the number of accidents and thus the number of whiplash claims. If only it were that simple!

Insurers will doubtless compete fiercely to attract the custom of motorists whose vehicles are fitted with AEB systems, thus limiting their ability to crash into other vehicles and pedestrians. But so long as collisions (or rapid decelerations) occurring at four or five miles per hour are regarded as potentially neck-injury-inducing, a complete cure for the whiplash scourge may be some way off yet.


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