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New evidence concerning fatal crashes of passenger vehicles before and after adding antilock braking systems

Farmer, Charles M.
Accident Analysis and Prevention
May 2001

Fatal crash rates for passenger cars and vans were compared for the last model year before four-wheel antilock brakes were introduced and the first model year for which antilock brakes were standard equipment. A prior study, based on fatal crash experience through 1995, reported that vehicle models withantilock brakes were more likely than identical but 1-year-earlier models to be involved in crashesfatal to their own occupants, but were less likely to be involved in crashes fatal to occupants of other vehicles. Overall, there was no significant effect of antilocks on the likelihood of fatal crashes. Similar analyses, based on fatal crash experience during 1996–98, yielded very different results. During 1996–98, vehicleswith antilock brakes were again less likely than earlier models to be involved in crashes fatal to occupants of other vehicles, but they were no longer overinvolved in crashes fatal to their own occupants.