A Shift in Safety Technology Is Coming, Former Edmunds Vice Chairman Says at Safety Conference | Edmunds.com
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A Shift in Safety Technology Is Coming, Former Edmunds Vice Chairman Says at Safety Conference


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Just the Facts:
  • Jeremy Anwyl, who retired as Edmunds vice chairman August 1, was part of a panel on safety technology and distracted and impaired driving at the Governors Highway Safety Association conference.
  • In the past, safety technology focused on surviving an accident, but in the future, the technology will focus on trying to ensure drivers don't get into collisions in the first place, he said.
  • Despite an increase in the number of safety features available on cars today, their high price is still a barrier to entry for many consumers.

SAN DIEGO — The auto industry is seeing a wave of technology cresting over its vehicles, and collision avoidance will soon be the life-saving focus, rather than just accident survival, according to Jeremy Anwyl, who retired August 1 as Edmunds.com's vice chairman.

Anwyl spoke at the 2013 Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) conference, which met here this week.

Anwyl was part of a panel on safety technology and distracted and impaired driving, which also featured Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

"In the past, safety technology was focused on surviving an accident," Anwyl said. "But in the future, the technology will be more focused on collision avoidance."

Despite the increase in safety technology available on cars today, Anwyl said that its high price is still a barrier to entry for many consumers.

Hersman, echoing the sentiments of David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who spoke earlier in the conference, said that features like forward collision warning, electronic stability control and lane departure warning systems should be standard on all vehicles — no matter what their price tag.

"Safety should not just be for those who can afford it," said Hersman.

Distracted and impaired driving was the other focus of the conference panel. Hersman restated the NTSB's commitment to having all portable electronic devices banned from the vehicle.

"Hands-free is not risk-free," said Hersman.

"Distracted driving is a big issue," Anwyl said, "but I'm not sure that banning technology is the solution."

Anwyl said that consumers so love the feeling of being able to stay connected to their social circle that "it's almost an addiction." As a result, many consumers will end up bringing their devices into their cars — regardless of the rules.

His proposed solution was driver education, not more laws. Anwyl cited a NHTSA statistic: 90 percent of accidents are caused by driver error. He stressed that drivers do not take that fact serious enough, preferring to think that car safety is all about the best technology, crash-test ratings and lots of airbags.

If you are buying a vehicle for your teen, Anwyl said, "Take a few options off and use that money to send the kid to driving school."

Edmunds says: Technology is getting better, but we must become better drivers to avoid it becoming a distraction.

Comments

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Anwyl's "proposed solution was driver education, not more laws." Thank goodness. That is THE heart of the problem. Here's the thing about most bad drivers, they just don't think. They don't think about giving up a life for a text message, a beer, or just being to involved in a conversation. They don't think about the chance that they may have to make a full panic stop to avoid an accident while speeding to work. They don't think that there's a chance that they may miss a car, or a low visibility road user like a motorcyclist, when rolling a stop sign. They don't think about most of this stuff because it hasn't been taught to them, and they don't know how to think about the act of driving, its privileges, responsibilities, and problems because they haven't been trained to think about that either. Here's a good example: We don't let people design a bridge with having been strongly educated, because people might die. Heck, on a big bridge, hundreds of people might die because of a bad design. However, on our roads, we let almost anybody drive a three thousand lb missiles with almost no training or education at all, and people DO die. Thousands of them a year. Men, women, and children. Let's become better, safer drivers. A law saying I have to be a better driver won't help, and blind spot monitoring doing my job for me won't help either.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    *"We don't let people design a bridge WITHOUT having been..." Sorry.

  • edriver2 edriver2 Posts:

    Quote: "Safety should not just be for those who can afford it," said Hersman. If the car is too expensive, then entry level buyers will simply buy a cheaper used car that will not have the features and completely dismiss the point of the exercise. Make it harder to get a license, mandate retesting every decade, and see the roads clean up.

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