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In order to achieve cooperative driving in vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET), broadcast transmission is usually used for disseminating safety-related information among vehicles. Nevertheless, broadcast over multihop wireless networks poses many challenges due to link unreliability, hidden terminal, message redundancy, and broadcast storm, etc., which greatly degrade the network performance. In this paper, we propose a cross layer broadcast protocol (CLBP) for multihop emergency message dissemination in inter-vehicle communication systems. We first design a novel composite relaying metric for relaying node selection, by jointly considering the geographical locations, physical layer channel conditions, moving velocities of vehicles. Based on the designed metric, we then propose a distributed relay selection scheme to guarantee that a unique relay is selected to reliably forward the emergency message in the desired propagation direction.We further apply IEEE802.11e EDCA to guarantee QoS performance of safety related services. Finally, simulation results are given to demonstrate that CLBP can not only minimize the broadcast message redundancy, but also quickly and reliably disseminate emergency messages in a VANET.