LOS ANGELES (KABC) --All cars will be required to have automatic braking by the year 2022, but as Consumer Reports revealed, more and more new cars are already adding the feature and saving lives.
Mike and Linda Hanson were driving for hours on the highway when Mike Hanson said he zoned out.
"The next thing that I remember is the car braking, the alarm going off. Almost simultaneously, Linda yelling my name 'Mike,' and all of a sudden I looked and all of a sudden we got this concrete abutment right dead ahead of us" he said.
The accident was avoided because the collision-prevention system in their 2014 Dodge Durango kicked in.
Consumer Reports tests the advanced safety features that use a laser, radar or camera to anticipate a frontal crash. Automatic emergency braking applies the brakes as the vehicle approaches an object, without the driver even touching the pedal.
The safety system is already saving lives.
"We would have been, at the very least, seriously injured, probably killed," Mike Hanson said.
In 2016, about 60 percent of all new cars offer similar safety technology, but often as an optional package costing anywhere from $500 to $300 extra.
"Manufacturers of nearly all new cars have voluntarily agreed to include these systems as standard equipment by the year 2022. Until that time, we will continue to evaluate them as they are introduced," said Jennifer Stockburger of Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports changed its car-rating system, giving bonus points to vehicles that include the safety technology standard on all its trim lines.
In addition to testing the collision-avoidance systems, Consumer Reports also surveys its subscribers. In the most recent one of almost 3,000 respondents, 36 percent said such a system kept them from having an accident.