Crashworthiness Standards and Crash Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Authority and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are the two main American agencies that conduct safety ratings tests for automobiles. These agencies are responsible to enforce federal motor vehicle safety laws and regulate theft resistance. They also monitor fuel economy and emissions. Each car is given an overall rating of five stars by the NHTSA or a grade from the IIHS. Each method is based on specific criteria such as the crashworthiness and effectiveness of crash prevention systems. Some participants may also be awarded for outstanding performance in rare instances.
In 2019, the USA saw more than 36,100 deaths from vehicle traffic accidents. Although this number is lower than previous years, it still remains alarming when you consider the nationwide stay-at-home measures implemented in response to the 2020 covid-19 pandemic. The NHTSA, using the vehicle-miles-traveled metric, calculated that there have been significantly more traffic-related fatalities, on average, per 100 million VMT. These high numbers can be partly explained by the covid-19 response. With fewer people driving, drivers have been able to drive at excessive speeds and not using their seatbelts. A lot of drivers were also found to be under the influence. This could have been due to many people trying to cope the effects of the pandemic.
Mandatory Car Safety Systems in America
The NHTSA mandates that automakers install more active safety systems in addition to the basic requirements like seatbelts and airbags. A standard-fit backup camera was made law in 2018 after it was shown to reduce pedestrian rearward accidents. In the same vein, authorities have teamed up with automakers to standardize automatic braking by 2022. However, this will only apply to casual passenger cars and won’t be required for supercars. Supercars may find the system a hindrance.
You can now get driver-assist technologies in your car
Modern cars come loaded with driver-assist technology. These are the most common driver-assist systems available in modern cars.
- AEB systems: These systems detect collisions between vehicles and alert the driver to corrective actions and initiate braking assistance accordingly. If the driver does not respond, the system will apply the brakes automatically to stop or reduce the severity. The NHTSA recommends both front and rear collision warning systems for all cars. All future cars will likely already have these.
- Automatic pedestrian detection: Automatic emergency braking is often combined with pedestrian detection. Both use cameras to detect pedestrians and cyclists in close proximity to vehicles and notify the driver accordingly. Some configurations include dynamic brake support software that assists the driver in preventing an impending collision.
- Lane keeping assistance: The driver is visually and audibly notified when their car crosses into a lane that isn’t marked with a turn signal. This allows them to manually straighten their car. If the driver does not react, Lane Keep Assist will correct the car automatically. It is an active assistant for driving and can be set up to alert the driver before correcting the car automatically.
- Blind-spot assistance: Changing lanes while driving at high speeds can be dangerous, especially if you have large blind spots. This system can significantly improve rearview safety because it uses sensors on the side mirrors that alert the driver if a vehicle is in their blind spot on either side.
- Parking sensors: It’s not easy to park in large vehicles that are difficult to maneuver or have blind spots. Parking spots in urban areas are often extremely tight and difficult to access. A driver-assist parking system is very useful in such situations. The sensors in the bumpers at the front and back detect vehicles nearby or obstacles surrounding the car. The display shows distance to the surrounding vehicles and emits an audible signal which increases in volume with increasing proximity.
Protective measures for performance cars
Performance cars are more dangerous than regular automobiles, so they often come with more safety and car technology. Specialized sports seats are used to enhance driver support and control. These seats are usually fixed, high-backed and heavily bolstered. For added protection and composure, they can be fitted with either four- or 5-point seat belt harnesses. You will need to purchase specialized equipment as well as underpinnings such larger and more durable brake pads. Some vehicles are equipped with roll bars that protect the occupants from a rollover in extreme situations.
What car safety features are worth having?
Automakers offer a wide range of optional and inclusive protection measures for their vehicles, which increase with the trim-tiers. If your vehicle doesn’t have these safety features, we recommend that you add them to your car.
- Avoidance of front and rear collisions
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane departure warning/prevention
- Cruise control with adaptive cruise
- Parking sensors for front and rear
What year was the invention of the three-point safety belt?
Volvo introduced this technology to the world in 1959 with the PV544 motor car. This technology was made freely available by the Swedish manufacturer, despite its importance.
What is the Highway Safety Manual?
It provides information and tools about driving safety, as well as decision-making regarding crash prevention and mitigation.
Is driver-assist tech expensive to buy?
Manufacturers often offer a driver assist package along with other options. Although the prices can be high, you can still choose the driving assistance technology that is most beneficial for you.
Why is automation so controversial
The new technology in car technology includes automated driving. This allows the vehicle to steer and drive itself. There are many concerns about the reliability and dependability of automated driving and the possibility that it could malfunction. Automation has many legal aspects and very little real-world testing was done.