Euro NCAP is calling for manufacturers to fit Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technology as standard on all cars and says that from 2014 it will include the technology in its crash test programme star rating.
The call follows on from praise from the body for Mazda's new CX-5 which includes AEB as standard.
Typically available on more expensive luxury cars, real world performance data suggests AEB systems can reduce accidents by up to 27%, according to Euro NCAP.
Mazda's ‘Smart City Brake Support' operates at speeds of up to 19mph and uses a laser sensor to detect a vehicle in front of the car.
If the driver fails to slow the vehicle appropriately, or to take avoiding action, the system automatically activates the brakes and reduces the engine output at the same time.
That helps to avoid collisions or mitigate the damage from rear-end collisions at low speeds, which are among the most common accidents.
A Euro NCAP survey found that AEB is unavailable on 79% of cars on sale in Europe and that 66% of manufacturers do not offer an AEB system on any of their new models.
Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said: "A faster penetration of these technologies into new cars will make it more realistic for the European Union to reach its target to cut road deaths by 50% by 2020.
"If all cars were fitted with AEB systems, many crashes could be mitigated or avoided altogether on European roads. The Mazda CX-5 is therefore a good example for other manufacturers to follow."
Steve Tomlinson, head of fleet at Mazda, said: “Many fleets already use Euro NCAP crash test ratings in determining their fleet policy and Mazda's decision to make ‘Smart City Brake Support' standard on the CX-5 in the UK will, we believe, further influence fleet manager and company car driver decision-making."