This week US safety officials made an appeal to manufacturers to start implementing potentially life-saving collision avoidance systems in all new passenger and commercial vehicles.
The government officials believe the technology already at hand could save more lives and lower injury and crash counts by driving down the number of rear-end crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board published a 63-page report in which it describes rear-end collisions as a factor in around 1,700 deaths and half a million injuries every year. According to the study, if the autos were equipped from the start with today’s often optional collision avoidance systems, the death and injury toll could go down by at least 80 percent. Already available collision avoidance systems use an array of radars, lasers, cameras and other sensors to scan the road ahead and calculate the possibility of a crash – then either warn the driver or use the brakes automatically or both. NTSB’s recommendations are not mandatory, but the agency believes the technology could be easily included as a standard in all new cars, trucks and buses.
“Currently available forward collision avoidance technologies for passenger and commercial vehicles still show clear benefits that could reduce rear-end crash fatalities. However, more must be done to speed up deployment of these technologies in all vehicle types,” commented the report, also criticizing the federal auto regulators for not pushing the innovation more. The NTSB said that only four out of 684 passenger vehicle models last year had a complete forward collision avoidance system offered without paying extra cash.