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What is Forward Collision Warning?

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Forward collision warning helps prevent rear-end collisions by alerting the driver to a stopped car, object or impending collision ahead so that you can brake in time to avoid the collision or have slowed down and lessened the severity of an impact. Your car may warn you with beeps, alarm sounds, or your steering wheel or seat may vibrate, or brake pedal pulsates or a flashing warning light on your dashboard or head up display can warn you.

How does Forward Collision Warning Work?

Forward collision warning sensors in the front of your car can detect your distance from slower moving or stationary cars in front of you and alert you to them, so that you can brake in time to avoid the collision or to have applied the brakes at least reducing the speed you are travelling and thus reducing the severity of a collision.

Forward collision warning

It does not apply the brakes for you, that is AEB. If the car is fitted with AEB then this would kick in afterwards the forward collision warning, as a last resort, but many cars have only the Forward Collision Warning helping you the driver take action.

What is forward collision warning like in cars I have driven?

Forward collision warning alarms have sounded in some cars I have driven if I was driving too close to the car in front, so my car thinks I am about to hit it. I think this is a great feature, warning you to take action to prevent a collision and also alerting you to the fact you are driving too close to the car in front that you couldn’t stop safely if they braked. In a lot of cars, I have driven the alarm sound for this warning is much stronger than the beeping you get with the parking sensors, for example, allowing you to recognise the difference.

I find the cars I test drive make so many different sounds, beeps and alarms now that it is hard to differentiate between them. Torn between the need for safety devices and features to warn me of impending dangers and the need for them to all shut up so I can concentrate on driving.

What else is forward collision warning called?

You may find other names for the system as each manufacturer has their own technology, some include:


Pre-crash system

Forward crash warning

Collision mitigating system

Collision avoidance system

Forward collision avoidance system

Rear-end crash avoidance system

Automotive collision avoidance system

Forward obstruction warning

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Tace Clifford
About Tace Clifford
Tace Clifford founded BabyDrive in 2017 after discovering a huge information gap in mainstream car reviews that left new parents and expanding families in the dark when it came to one of the biggest purchasing decisions of their lives.

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