Collision-Avoidance Systems Should Be Mandatory, Says NTSB


  • Safety Equipment

    Safety Equipment

    Collision-avoidance systems should be required equipment on all vehicles, says the National Transportation Safety Board. | November 15, 2012

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Just the Facts:
  • Collision-avoidance systems, such as automatic braking and adaptive cruise control, should be mandatory equipment on all passenger and commercial vehicles, said the National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday.
  • "Their full life-saving and crash-avoidance potential will not be realized until supported by federal rulemaking and related standards," said the NTSB in its annual list of "most wanted" changes to government policy.
  • Critics argue that such features will add to the vehicle sticker prices.

WASHINGTON — Collision-avoidance systems, such as automatic braking and adaptive cruise control, should be mandatory equipment on all passenger and commercial vehicles, said the National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday.

"Their full life-saving and crash-avoidance potential will not be realized until supported by federal rulemaking and related standards," said the NTSB in its annual list of "most wanted" changes to government policy.

"Lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and electronic stability control have all been proven to aid drivers when they are faced with unexpected conditions, particularly when traveling at highway speeds or when operating larger commercial vehicles that require greater stopping distances," it said.

Critics argue that such features will add to the vehicle sticker prices. The effectiveness of such systems has been debated as well.

A study earlier this year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that lane departure warning systems are a dud among crash-avoidance technologies.

The NTSB said it is pushing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to establish performance standards "where still needed and mandate that these technologies should be included as standard equipment in cars and commercial motor vehicles alike."

The NTSB investigates the causes of accidents in the U.S., including vehicle and airplane crashes.

Edmunds says: Are you willing to back the NTSB's recommendation — which may require opening up your wallet?

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