NTSB pushes for mandatory accident avoidence systems

The lives of countless Louisiana road users have been saved in recent decades by innovative automobile safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes, and electronic crash avoidance systems may save many more in the years ahead. The National Transportation Safety Board has proposed that the technology be made mandatory on all passenger and commercial vehicles sold in the United States, but many observers feel that this call is likely to go unheeded by Congress.

These collision avoidance systems use an array of sensors to detect an impending car accident and then operate the vehicle's braking and traction control mechanisms to help drivers to avoid a crash. The NTSB has called on lawmakers to compel car manufacturers to include the technology on new vehicles several times in the past, but such systems were only standard equipment on four models sold in the United States in 2014.

A statement released by the NTSB on June 8 said that the procrastination of legislators on this issue is often based on a belief that even more impressive technology may soon become available. The statement said that this amounted to forgoing the good in the hopes of achieving perfection.

The technology works particularly well when it detects a possible rear-end collision, and the NTSB say that the technology could reduce the chances of death or serious injury in the overwhelming majority of these accidents. Rear-end collisions are often caused by drowsy or distracted drivers, and they may face civil as well as criminal sanctions when their reckless behavior causes injury, loss or damage to other road users. Motor vehicle accident victims frequently suffer debilitating injures that may prevent them from earning a living for considerable periods, and a lawsuit filed on their behalf by a personal injury attorney could seek compensation for their lost income as well as their medical expenses and property damage.

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