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Antilock Brakes and Rear End Collisions

This study examined police records from 1992 and 1993 for five states, looking specifically at rear end collsions. The authors found that cars with antilock brakes (ABS) are significantly less likely to rear-end another car. However, cars with ABS are 30% more likely to be rear-ended themselves!

The authors write, "In order to reap the full safety benefits of the greater braking capability of ABS, drivers of ABS-equipped vehicles need to be even more sensitive than average drivers to the risks of being tailgated. Even though the following driver is presumed to be legally liable, and in many jurisdictions also financially liable, the lead driver nonetheless has many techniques available to reduce, or indeed essentially eliminate, the risk of being rear impacted. These techniques generally require frequent use of rear-view mirrors, which is in general a good driving practice."

Evans L, Gerrish PH. Antilock brakes and risk of front and rear impact in two-vehicle crashes. Accident Analysis and Prevention 1996;28(3):315-323.