The National Transportation Safety Board has advocated for the use of collision avoidance technology for some time. In a recent report, the NTSB has once again advanced the idea that these systems should be standard equipment on all vehicles. The report suggests that thousands of deaths and injuries each year could be prevented with the implementation of crash avoidance technology.
The NTSB report highlighted rear-end collisions in demonstrating the potential value of collision avoidance systems. According to the NTSB, rear-end collisions are the cause of approximately 1,700 traffic deaths and 500,000 traffic injuries per year. Collision avoidance systems have the potential to eliminate or mitigate four out of five of these crashes. Despite the potential benefits of the safety technology, only four passenger vehicle models offered it as a standard feature in 2014.
Auto companies and industry representatives have resisted calls for collision avoidance systems to be standard based on the cost. Industry leaders claim that paying the added cost should be a matter of consumer preference. That argument has been repeated each of the twelve times the NTSB has recommended the technology over the years. In addition to concerns over the cost, some auto companies have argued that collision prevention technology is on the precipice of significant advancement and that implementation should be delayed until the technology is perfected.
The NTSB has also recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration establish standards for collision avoidance and emergency braking systems. Those technologies would then be rated by the NHTSA and included in evaluating vehicles on the 5-star safety scale. Auto companies may then be motivated to include the best devices to attain or retain top safety ratings.
Source: USA Today, "NTSB calls for collision avoidance systems on all cars," by Todd Spangler, 9 June 2015