Existing safety technologies could cut U.S. road deaths in half if they came standard on all new vehicles, found a recent Consumer Reports analysis.
The study finds that widespread adoption of crash avoidance technologies available today and other existing safety systems could save upward of 16,800 to 20,500 lives annually, according to Consumer Reports. This totals to nearly one-half of the 36,560 lives lost on U.S. roads in 2018.
“Instead of providing safety for all, automakers put the burden on people to research, understand, and often pay extra for lifesaving car features. It takes decades for safety technology to come standard on all new cars as a result. Policymakers should choose a different path—one that will save lives now,” said William Wallace, manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports.
The study from Consumer Reports focuses on the expected benefits of existing safety technologies if they were equipped on the entire fleet of motor vehicles in the United States. Findings include:
- 11,800 lives saved from four systems on the market today. Automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot warning would be expected to prevent a combined 11,000 road deaths if adopted fleetwide, via a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analysis. NHTSA also has found full adoption of current pedestrian detection systems would be expected to prevent an additional 800 deaths.
- 1,300 lives saved, at least, from vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology.
- 3,700-7,400 lives saved from equipping all vehicles with drunk driving prevention technology.