Better Braking, Safer Driving

(NBC News)  Of the 24 vehicles recently tested for their crash prevention capabilities, 21 earned ratings of "advanced" or "superior" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

With the tests came high praise for automakers.

"That's the best scenario, is that you avoid the crash, and the automakers are working hard on this," says the IIHS's Russ Rader.  "They see it as a competitive advantage to be on the cutting edge of safety."

The ratings are based on vehicles with a warning alarm  and autobraking system that researchers even if it doesn't prevent the crash, will reduce the speed.   

"Reducing the speed reduces the damage to both vehicles involved and also reduces the likelihood that anybody in either vehicles will be hurt," points out the IIHS's David Zuby.

Luxury cars and suvs from BMW and Mercedes made up a big chunk of the test group, but more mainstream vehicles like Buick, Chevrolet, Dodge and Toyota also received high ratings for having a camera, radar or laser that monitors the road ahead.  

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