Automotive technology firm Continental has announced a new automatic post-crash braking system for cars, aiming to reduce the likelihood of "secondary collisions." Set to be integrated into its ContiGuard safety suite, the new technology uses data from the vehicle's airbag to determine that a crash has taken place before attempting to slow it to a stop. If pressure is reapplied to the accelerator pedal during the crash, the system automatically returns control to the driver.

According to figures from ADAC Accident Research, almost 25 percent of German car accidents resulting in injuries to the driver or passengers involve multiple crashes — Continental provides a comparison image (above), showing how a simple collision with a crash barrier can result in a serious side-on smash. While automatic post-crash braking is hardly a panacea, it may provide a valuable first response while the driver is stunned or unconscious.

Continental states that the technology has been developed "together with a German vehicle manufacturer," but does not reveal which. A recent report from the US's Highway Loss Data Institute praised the effectiveness of standard pre-crash systems from car brands including Accura, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz.