In a recently released report called The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Read-End Crashes, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggested that forward collision avoidance systems become a part of standard equipment offered on vehicles.
The goal of the NTSB is to make these systems widely available. These systems would include automatically applied brakes and sound alerts whenever obstacles in an automobile’s path are detected. Based on this, a vehicle would be stopped from rear-ending another car in the front. There are also systems designed specifically to identify pedestrians.
Because these systems save lives and reduce the number of injuries, they have become extremely important to the NTSB. As stated by Christopher A. Hart, chairman, every year approximately 1,700 people lose their lives because of rear end collisions. In addition to this, roughly 500,000 people sustain injuries.
However, more than 80% of those incidents can be avoided or at least lessened if a collision avoidance system were implemented. As pointed out by the NTSB, these systems are currently available, they are not overly expensive, and they are installed in a number of automobiles currently.
For new cars, collision avoidance systems are rarely offered as standard equipment and regarding add-ons, they can be expensive. As noted by the NTSB, just 4 of every 684 passenger vehicles manufactured in 2014 included a system of this type. Typically, when offered the system is bundled along with other features deemed to be non-safety that raises the cost.
To encourage greater adoption of collision avoidance systems is to mandate them on new automobiles as standard equipment. Hart along with his colleagues do not want to see the cost of vehicles increase because of this technology. For instance, there is no additional expense for other safety devices like seatbelts so collision avoidance systems should be no different.
Many find the timing of the report to be interesting since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just reported that the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is being investigated pertaining to a possible collision avoidance system that is flawed.
Regardless, Hart fully believes that just as seatbelts and airbags are required on new vehicles as standard equipment, collision avoidance systems, along with other high-tech systems will be within the near future. This may be due to consumer demand, desire on the part of automakers, or because of Federal regulations but in any case, the goal is to make newly manufactured automobiles safer for consumers.