NTSB pushes for auto industry to standardize collision avoidance systems

The federal agency continues to push for inclusion of this safety technology as a standard offering in new automobiles.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is pushing for auto manufacturers to include collision avoidance systems as a standard offering in its vehicles. The push was highlighted in a recently released study. Those against the proposal argue that car buyers can choose to include the systems for an additional cost. Proponents counter that consumers do not have to pay for the inclusion of a seatbelt, and should not need to pay for inclusion of safety technology that can prevent an accident.

This is not the first time the federal agency has pushed for inclusion of these safety systems. The NTSB has encouraged "technological countermeasures" since 1995 and has issued 12 recommendations addressing this issue, the first in 2001.

More on the study

The most recent study, Special Investigative Report, The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes, spanned three years and focused specifically on rear-end accidents. Researchers with the report reviewed nine rear-end accidents. The accidents were responsible for 28 fatalities and 90 injuries. The goal of the report was three-fold:

  • Review. The agency reviewed the progress of previous recommendations. Ultimately, researchers found that the "slow development of performance standards and the lack of regulatory action" delayed the deployment of these systems as a standard offering on all vehicles.
  • Examine. The agency also reviewed data to determine the effectiveness of these systems. Ultimately, researchers found that a collision warning system paired with active braking can significantly reduce both the frequency and severity of rear-end crashes.
  • Explore. The NTSB also aimed to review the options for including these technologies in new vehicles. Since this is not the first time the agency has recommended inclusion, the report provided additional ways to encourage manufacturers to begin offering the system. One example included beginning to include the presence of the forward collision avoidance system in the 5-star New Car Assessment Program.

Researchers were careful to note that additional studies are needed. Some issues that require further review include the performance of these systems at various velocities and in commercial vehicles.

Impact of the study

Although it does not appear likely that the government will require inclusion of these safety systems as standard within vehicles in the near future, one thing is clear: crash avoidance technologies reduce the risk of involvement in an accident. Those who are injured in an accident due to the negligent or reckless action of another may be eligible to receive compensation, regardless of the presence of a crash avoidance system. Contact an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to discuss your legal rights and better ensure your right to remedies is protected.

Keywords: personal injury motor vehicle accident car crash