US calls for safer vehicles
DO AWAY WITH OPTIONAL SAFETY KIT: The US NTSB has called for automakers to provide advanced safety systems, such as Volvo's lane departure warning (above), become standard equipment on vehicles.
DETROIT, USA - The US government should require automakers to offer advanced safety features such as lane departure warning in all passenger vehicles and commercial trucks to prevent accidents, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The latest safety technologies, including adaptive cruise control, are offered by automakers as optional extras but are not required to meet federal safety standards, the NTSB said.
NTSB said: "Their full life-saving and crash-avoidance potential will not be realised until supported by federal rulemaking and related standards."
ADVANCED TECH TO SAVE LIVES
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that rear-end collisions account for 28% of all highway accidents, while accidents in which a vehicle veers off the road, overturns or crashes into an object account for 23%.
According to the NHTSA, 9% are caused by a car veering out of its lane.
Forward collision warning, auto braking and electronic stability control were also cited as technologies that should be made standard.
Forward collision warning, which uses radar or lasers to sense objects ahead, could prevent 879 fatal passenger car crashes a year in the US, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The institute believes that the implementation of collision warning could prevent 115 fatal crashes in large trucks each year, in the US.
The IIHS said lane departure warnings and electronic stability control systems could prevent 247 and 439 fatal accidents a year, respectively.