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CENTER BRAKE LIGHTS HAILED AS CRASH, INJURY PREVENTER

Center brake lights on cars prevent at least 92,000 crashes and 58,000 injuries annually, according to a study released Monday by the government's highway safety agency.

By alerting drivers that the car in front of them has hit the brakes, the light helps cut back on rear-end collisions.

The third brake light, often mounted in the center of the back windshield, has been required safety equipment on cars since model year 1986 and on light trucks, such as pickups or sport utilities, since model year 1994.

The study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that center brake lights reduce the number of rear-impact crashes by 4.3 percent, preventing $655 million in property damage, as well as fewer crashes and injuries.

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