Rate of fatal car accidents could soon be cut in half: Part I

Earlier this month, we discussed the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) “most wanted” list for the 2013 legislative year. In essence, this list highlights the most pressing safety issues affecting American transportation. The NTSB does not have the power to act on these matters, but does have significant influence over what legislators and regulatory bodies focus on when it comes to transportation safety in a given year.

One critical recommendation that the NTSB believes will reduce the rate of fatal accidents on dangerous highways by half or greater is requiring auto manufacturers to install the latest collision prevention technology in all newly manufactured vehicle models.

Automatic braking, lane departure warnings, electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning systems could greatly reduce the number of fatal car and truck accidents that occur on American roadways each year. Though the auto manufacturing industry is concerned that the cost of these technologies is prohibitive, their importance in terms of human life is invaluable.

The NTSB recently released a statement in which it noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should mandate the installation of these technologies in part because “their full life-saving and crash-avoidance potential will not be realized until supported by federal rulemaking and related standards.”

Why are these particular technologies so critical to preventing the kinds of devastating crashes that too often lead to loss of human life? And what exactly do these technologies do? Please check back later this week as we continue our discussion of this critical safety proposal.

Source: CBS News, “Feds: Standardizing auto safety technologies could halve number of fatal highway accidents,” Nov. 14, 2012