Wednesday, July 15, 2015

NTSB Calls for Collision Avoidance Systems for Vehicles

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In a NationalTransportation Safety Board (NTSB) report, the agency recommends that manufacturers include collision avoidance systems as standard equipment in newly manufactured vehicles. The report, “The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes,” states that collision avoidance systems save lives, reduce injuries and can prevent or lessen the severity of rear-end crashes. NTSB says it has made 12 similar recommendations over the past 20 years, but progress has been slow due to a “lack of incentives and limited public awareness.”

According to the agency, in 2014, only 4 out of 684 passenger vehicles included a complete forward collision avoidance system as a standard feature. Usually, when manufacturers offer these systems as an add-on option, they are sold with other nonsafety features, which increases the price. The report outlines the safety benefits of these systems and urges that they are part of the standard package. “You don’t pay extra for your seat belt,” said NTSB Chair Christopher Hart. “And you shouldn’t have to pay extra for technology that can help prevent a collision altogether.”

In addition to standardizing the collision systems, NTSB recommends manufacturers should begin with adding collision warning systems then add autonomous emergency braking once National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) finishes standards for such systems. NTSB also recommends that NHTSA develop standards to rate the performance of each vehicle’s collision avoidance system and include the results in an expanded NCAP 5-star safety rating scale.