Posted on December 16th, 2015

Two Major Steps Promise to Reduce Crashes & Save Lives

Last week may go down in history as a game-changer in the world of car safety. Two important announcements could reduce deaths and injuries from crashes for decades to come.

Forward Collision Warning alerts drivers to slowing or stopped cars ahead so that drivers can brake or take evasive action.

First, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed that by 2015 new cars receiving the agency’s coveted 5-Star Safety Rating must add new advanced vehicle safety technologies. These include automatic emergency braking, semi-automatic beam switching headlamps, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and other systems.

The second major announcement came from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which announced that 48 vehicles have earned the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award. These cars are all equipped with some advanced technologies and performed well in five areas that rate crashworthiness.

To be clear, these innovations are not about futuristic dreams or James Bond gadgets only available in luxury cars. IIHS reports that these potentially life-saving technologies are even available on some lower priced cars. For example, auto-braking is available in one model with a base price below $20,000. It is good policy and good business to make these technologies available to the greatest number of drivers; safety shouldn’t only be for those who can afford it.

Today you can purchase a car that will help keep you in your lane, warn you if another vehicle is in your blind spot or even slam on the brakes if a front end collision appears imminent. I’ve tested these technologies and some require us to think and drive differently – all the more reason that we understand how they work.

For decades, during a crash, safety belts, air bags and crumple zones have proven their life-saving benefits. Now, the manufacturers and regulators are stepping up their game with new safety technologies that can help prevent the crash from ever happening.

Technology: You may love it or hate it, but it will play a vital role in making our roadways safer.