On January 27, 2022, the US Department of Transport announced that it would be embracing a new national strategy for safer roads and vehicles. It will be providing $14 billion for road safety and $4 billion for collision data collection and other information pertaining to vehicle data itself. The law requires that the agency publish updates to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). It also wants new vehicles to contain advanced drunken and impaired driving prevention technology. The transportation department will create proposals to update the NCAP. It also hopes to make new rules for vehicle standards pertaining to impaired driving, by 2024, so as to significantly reduce the number of injuries and fatal accidents occurring on the road.
Specific Safety Technologies to be Embraced
In the US, almost 6,000 pedestrians are killed in a given year and around 137,000 are treated in hospitals for their injuries. Ask any car accident injury attorney and they will tell you that a big percentage of the personal injury cases they cover involves persons who were run over, even when they were in pedestrian crossings. Distractions such as texting, music, and car infotainment can make it difficult for drivers to stop in time when pedestrians start crossing. Therefore, the US Department of Transport will be mandating automatic emergency and pedestrian automatic emergency braking on new passenger vehicles.
New Testing Protocols for Four Additional Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
The NHTSA’s planned update to NCAP includes the testing of four advanced driver assistance technologies. These are lane-keeping technology, pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and blind-spot intervention. These technologies in particular can prevent dangerous and high-frequency collisions. The statistics certainly confirm that change is needed. For instance, the NHTSA reports that around 840,000 blind spot accidents take place every year in the US. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), however, has stated that blind-spot monitoring can reduce accidents during lane changes by as much as 14% and it can reduce crash injuries in this type of event by as much as 23%.
Why Change Matters
Making changes to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) is vital in that American car buyers can consult updated data about vehicles on the market. They can easily compare the merits of each vehicle’s safety systems, choosing those with a greater number of pertinent safety technologies. Some of these—including automatic braking for pedestrians—are vital whether or not one is driving in the city or on larger roads, where obstacles can appear and the driver can brake too late.
The US Department of Transport announced that it would be embracing a new national strategy for safer roads and vehicles. It requires that the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) publish updates and rules about aspects such as advanced prevention driving technology. It is hoped that newer, more updated rules for vehicle standards will be in motion by 2024.