Safety Option Packages to Become More Common
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- More automakers are expected to begin offering safety option packages that take advantage of new safety technology such as electronic stability control (ESC). For example, Lexus is already promoting its Lexus Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management package that includes smart cruise control, lane-departure warning and ESC technologies, according to a report in Forbes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has adopted a standard that makes ESC equipment mandatory. By 2011, the technology will be standard equipment in all vehicles. It is expected to save as many as 10,000 lives annually.Last fall, NHTSA Administrator Nicole R. Nason told a Congressional committee that electronic technologies will become as important to highway safety as seat belts and bumpers."I believe the most promising gains in highway safety are going to come from the deployment of crash-avoidance technologies," she said. "Today, the technology exists not only to ameliorate the severity of a crash, but to help prevent it outright."Nason cited such safety advances as forward-collision warning systems, lane-departure warning and blind-spot warning devices. "But the crash-avoidance technology that holds the greatest promise is electronic stability control," she said.