In a 60-page report, the National Highway Safety Board recently urged automakers to make collision avoidance systems standard features in all commercial and passenger vehicles. Although automakers say such a requirement would add to the cost of a vehicle, the chairman of the NTSB dismissed the issue. He likened the feature to a seat belt that consumers shouldn't have to pay extra for. The primary goal of an avoidance system would be to reduce the frequency and severity of rear-end collisions.
It is believed that such collisions result in approximately 1,700 deaths and 500,000 injuries each year. The NTSB says that 80 percent of rear-end crashes could be mitigated in severity if every car on the road had a full collision avoidance system. Currently, very few vehicle models have such a feature that comes standard. When activated, it can warn a driver about an impending collision or even brake the car for the driver.
The NTSB has advocated for standard collision avoidance systems many times over the past 20 years. However, it says that progress toward implementing the system and other safety features has been limited. Lack of public awareness and incentives for automakers are cited as key reasons for why progress has stalled.
Those who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, as rear-end collisions often are, may be able to obtain compensation for their losses, including medical bills and lost wages. An attorney might review the police investigation report and other available evidence to determine an accident victim's legal options, which could include the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.