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Safety officials push for collision avoidance technology (again)

This week, federal safety officials once again recommended that all new passenger and commercial vehicles should be equipped with collision avoidance systems, and if you or a loved one has ever been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident, you know why.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a 60-page reported concluding that collision avoidance systems could save thousands of lives and injuries each year, in addition to the costs associated with these accidents. 

More specifically, the NTSB said the technology can be used to avoid or diminish the severity of rear-end crashes about 80 percent of the time. Currently, rear-end accidents result in around 1,700 deaths and 500,000 injuries each year.

Essentially, forward collision avoidance systems alert a driver when a crash is about to take place and can even help the driver apply the brake in order to avoid the crash. Other systems warn the driver that the car has veered out of its lane and provide electronic stability control.

The NTSB recommended that the U.S. government require auto makers to install collision avoidance systems on new vehicles three years ago, and has made similar recommendations a dozen times in the past 20 years.

An NTSB spokesman said that there have been delays in following the recommendations because there have always been new technologies being developed that are seemingly better. However, the spokesman said that “we must be careful to avoid letting perfection become the enemy of the good."

If you talk to anyone who has been seriously injured or has lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, they would undoubtedly say that any technology that could have prevented the accident that stole their lives would have been a good thing.

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