NTSB pushes for collision avoidance systems

If collision avoidance systems become standard they will prevent numerous car accidents.

Federal agencies, such as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, have been established through the years in an effort to help decrease motor vehicle injuries and fatalities on America's roadways.

The National Transportation Safety Board is another important agency. The NTSB, as it's known, is an independent federal agency specifically tasked with investigating transportation accidents that occur with motor vehicles and other modes of transport.

Recently, agency officials released a recommendation to vehicle manufacturers that they indicate would save thousands of lives.

Collision avoidance systems

In a 60 page report, the NTSB recommended that all newly manufactured vehicles come equipped with collision avoidance systems. (As of 2014, only four models included standard systems.)

Collision avoidance systems are essentially vehicle safety devices that sense when an oncoming collision or rear end crash is imminent. They can utilize radar, laser or camera sensors to make the detection. And, depending on the type of system, such systems can either notify the driver via a warning signal from inside the vehicle or implement automatic brake or steering actions without driver consent in order to prevent an accident.

The agency indicates in the report that up to 80 percent of vehicle rear-end-collisions could be either prevented or mitigated with collision avoidance systems.

Pushback

It's likely the initiative may come to fruition in the near future. There has been, however, plenty of push back in past years.

According to recently released statement, the agency indicted that "lack of incentives and limited public awareness has stunted the wide adoption of collision avoidance technology."

Additional costs have been another reason for the obstruction. Many opponents argue that it would be burdensome to automakers and also add additional manufacturing costs-a cost that would no doubt be passed onto consumers.

However, NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart disagrees. He suggests that such an idea is an illusion. "You don't pay extra for your seat belt, and you shouldn't have to pay extra for technology that can help prevent a collision altogether," he recently stated.

Along with mandating vehicle collision avoidance systems, Hart suggests the agency should go a step further. Once the systems are implemented, they should be rated and become part of the New Car Assessment Programs' 5-star safety rating scale provided to consumers so they can decide which system they prefer.

The future of vehicle technology

It remains to be seen whether the proposal will eventually be executed and manufacturers will step up. It wasn't long ago that the seat belt mandate for every vehicle was once a distant chance. Today, seat belts come standard in every single car, truck and SUV that rolls off assembly lines and have saved countless lives.

Keywords: car accidents, truck accidents