Do the star-based safety ratings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration work? We'd point out that automakers work hard to ensure the best ratings possible, and recent data shows that our roads are now safer.

NHTSA has made the five-star rating more difficult to obtain, and now Wards Automotive reports that the government agency is looking to advance the technology that helps avoid accidents altogether. The agency reportedly told attendees at a Society of Automotive Analysts event at the Detroit Auto Show that it is considering credits that reward safety avoidance tech, though NHTSA didn't detail what technologies would be highlighted.

Technologies that avoid accidents are likely to decrease the amount of accidents over time, and one technology NHTSA finds promising are vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems. V2V tech enables vehicles to "speak" to one another, and the agency feels it could drop fatalities from about 33,000 per year to 20,000. NHTSA is reportedly testing V2V communications, and several automakers are involved.

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