The National Association of City Transportation Safety Officials (NACTO) says America’s vehicle safety ratings system is in urgent need of an overhaul.
The group says that the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) by which the federal government evaluates the safety of the cars and trucks on America’s highways is a spectacular failure that “gives misleadingly high safety ratings to the most dangerous vehicles on American roadways.”
According to NACTCO, virtually every new car receives a four- or five-star rating because the system only assesses the safety of vehicle occupants, “not all the people walking, pushing strollers, biking, or taking transit outside them.” As an association of city officials, the group looks at vehicle safety from the perspective of pedestrians and others who get in the way of today’s, bigger, faster vehicles.
Noting the ever-increasing number of pedestrian accident injuries and deaths, the group wants automakers to take preventive action and for vehicle safety ratings to take the potential for pedestrian accidents into account.
“For decades, cities have been at the forefront of transportation innovation in North America. Yet, without a strong federal partner, American streets have been getting more dangerous instead of safer,” said Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO. “The federal government is doing an admirable job of renewing the Department of Transportation after years of stagnation. Now is the time for the experts in the room to be honest with the public, and let them know that the vehicles that they’ve been sold for years are making our streets more dangerous–not safer.”
Revising Vehicle Safety Ratings
Responding to pedestrian safety activists, the federal Department of Transportation is in the process of revising its system for vehicle safety ratings. It is contemplating assessing vehicles on how they integrate pedestrian-friendly advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technologies. Officials are considering four such technologies: blind spot detection, blind spot intervention, lane-keeping support, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking.
Blind spot detection has become an urgent area of concern with the advent of larger vehicles like SUVs with extended hoods that can prevent drivers from seeing what lay directly in the path of the vehicle. According to the Department of Transportation, “a pedestrian automatic emergency braking system uses information from forward sensors to detect a pedestrian in the vehicle’s path. The system will provide automatic braking if the driver has not acted to avoid a crash.”
Revising vehicle safety ratings may go a long way in reducing car accidents in Florida, but the ultimate responsibility for safety rests with the operator of the vehicle. Most car accidents are the result of carelessness or negligence. If you’ve been injured in a crash, an Orlando car accident attorney may be able to help you recover your losses. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida