• Jul 3, 2009
Is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about to add some more safety measures to your next new car? According to The Detroit News, they might be. The Motown daily says that government officials are pondering whether or not they should require new vehicles to be fitted with lane-departure warning systems and automatic braking systems that trigger upon warning of an impending accident. Both systems are currently available only in very small percentage of new passenger cars – primarily luxury vehicles. According to the DetNews report, safety experts believe that the systems "show significant promise" in their ability to reduce traffic accident-related fatalities and injuries.

NHTSA will decide whether to require such systems in 2011 after further cost-benefit analysis, including looking at insurance company data and estimated manufacturing costs. It has already added new components to its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) for 2011 vehicles, including a test that measures the effectiveness of lane-departure warning systems and a different frontal-crash program.

NHTSA hopes to announce its findings by the end of the year.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 50 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've avoided more accidents driving out of them and I've avoided accidents by braking. That requires me having control over all factors including the wheel, the brakes and a few times the accelerator pedal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Someday they wont let you, now you must agree
      The times they are a-telling, and the changing isnt free
      Youve read it in the tea leaves, and the tracks are on tv
      Beware the savage jaw
      Of 1984

      Theyll split your pretty cranium, and fill it full of air
      And tell that youre eighty, but brother, you wont care
      Youll be shooting up on anything, tomorrows never there
      Beware the savage jaw
      Of 1984

      Courtesy David Bowie & George Orwell...that book should be required reading.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think 2011 is a much too aggressive timetable for mandating either of these systems.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think it's saying they'll make their decision in 2011, not that their decision would go into effect by 2011.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ditch a lot of the current mandated safety features and leave it up to the manufacturers and the marketplace to see what consumers want in their cars. Next mandate a weight limit on cars and trucks. Within 10 years depending on class size cars must not weigh anymore than 3000 lbs. (full size cars) and trucks no more than 3500 (full size). I would really like a new Ford Focus to not weigh more than 2200 lbs. The weight reduction would put less stress on roads and increase safety by reducing brake distances and increasing the ability to avoid a accident in the first place. Next insurance costs should have to be reduced if a driver participates in a driving school that teaches driver safety.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The best way to reduce the risk of traffic accidents is not lowering the speed limit. It is not adding lane departure or auto-brake systems. It is not even installing roll cages, 5-point harnesses, and helmets. The best way to reduce the risk and rate of traffic accidents is to have better drivers. This means, improved driver education programs, and even re-evaluation. Physicians have to be reassessed every year. Our police and fire employees have to be reassessed at least once a year. Even our teachers are encouraged to further their development and teaching abilities as often as possible. So, why don't we encourage the same for drivers? I'm not saying we should retest every year but every 5 years seems more-than-reasonable. If we look at motorsports, drivers/riders have to be evaluated regularly and this is to ensure that they are able to perform at their best (and to ensure the safety of those around them). I've had my license since I was 16 and don't have to be re-tested until I'm around 70 (that's 44 years from now). During that time, I have all the freedom to pick up bad habits and driver as poorly as I want to as long as don't pick up enough infractions to warrant otherwise (I'm also free to cause all the accidents I want to as a result of my negligence, as long as I'm not personally involved in them).

      If we have a better driver education and evaluation system, we not only have better drivers on the road (which will allow for raised speed limits, etc.), we will also have fewer cars on the road (because there will be those who will not be able to make the cut). And how do we pay for all of this, you may ask? Simple. The increased number of people using public transportation because they can't drive on their own.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I learned more from a two-day performance driving course than from years of city driving. Everyone should take a similar course!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I couldn't agree more. Tailgating, treating the left lane like a personal travel corridor, lane changing without signaling, or any other behaviors that points to lack of observation and awareness on the part of the driver are what the Highway Patrol should be focusing on if anyone is serious about reducing accidents/fatalities on freeways.

        Hell if these were treated with the same priority as speeding I'm sure traffic flow overall would improve as well, all it takes to create a jam is a small group of morons who think driving below the speed limit crowding the left lanes is a brilliant idea.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Completely agree with you. Add to that a required technical inspection of all cars on the road, and I guarantee an accident rate reduction.
        Here, in California, as long the car passes the smog-check, you are good to go. How about tires, breaks, lights check?
      ebmonon36
      • 5 Years Ago
      Give it 30 years and the car will drive you. The sad part is that most Americans probably would like this to happen
      • 5 Years Ago
      IIRC, most (if not all) of these systems that are currently available have a kill switch for those who find them annoying. Anyway, people got their panties in just as much of a bunch over ESC 10 years ago, and ABS 10 years before that, and airbags 10 years before that... none of it killed fun cars.

      The real crime (again, if the past is any indication) is that insurance rates won't ease up commensurately after new tech like this is implemented. That whole industry is a monumental scam.
      • 5 Years Ago
      STOP. Just for the love of God, stop. Knock it off with this ridiculous Nanny State-ism. Quit making the cars protect us from ourselves and START TEACHING BETTER DRIVERS. Antilock brakes, stability control, lane departure warnings, tire-pressure monitoring systems, auto-braking, more airbags than a Congressional hearing--STOP!!! QUIT PUTTING USELESS CRAP IN OUR CARS!
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about the DRUCK DRIVERS they probably cause more accident .
        In my state WISCONSIN when a DRUNK DRIVER is caught he or she has 4 or more DWI already. This State does nothing to stop this serious problem.....
        They need to confiscate the car after the second DWI and require proof of drivers
        license before anyone can buy a car. This will greatly reduce DRUNK DRIVERS
      • 5 Years Ago
      A list of better ideas:

      Ban Cell Phone use while driving
      Improve the quality and layout of roads
      Implement better driver training programs
      Raise the minimum age to get a license to 17 or 18
      Impose weight requirements for cars
      Put more cops on the road, and have those cops looking for reckless drivers, not people doing 10 over.
      Impose weight requirements for cops
      • 5 Years Ago
      First why would you think is Nanny State intruding your rights? Its not that people don't pay attention. The number one cause of accidents is not cell phones, eating or doing your nails in traffic, its FALLING ASLEEP at the wheel. That's because many of us work long hours and multiple jobs.

      If you don't want these measures, why not scream at the Gov to enforce more time off and longer vacations.

      While your at it, boost the min wage and enforce immigration laws/reform.

      Stop complaining about the Gov doing something you don't want and complain to them about doing something that would benefit everybody but the Richest among us who NEED NO HELP from Average Joe/Jane which is everybody on Autoblog....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can finally go to sleep at the wheel! YAY
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't get me wrong on this folks, I am by no means in favor of all of the many "proposed" or "suggested" safety features on vehicles. We all know that such devices not only inflate the price of the vehicle, but some devices as the black boxes they want to install for insurance purposes, also infringe on some of our "liberties."

      However, on the flip side of that same coin, we'll pay the inflated price on a car for such things as heated steering wheels and cup holders, and a whole slew of other gadgets and gizmos that represent things we "need to have" in our cars.

      Or at least that is what we've been getting fed all these years.
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