Despite the pleas of safety advocates, government officials appear in no hurry to require automobile makers to install automatic braking technology in all new cars. The Associated Press recently revealed that at four meetings attended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and automakers since the fall, the automotive industry indicated they will seek exemptions to the automatic braking rule for some models while maintaining that other vehicles, such as those with a manual transmission, would be difficult to configure. Additionally, the automakers argue that they will not be able to equip 95% of their new vehicles with automatic braking technology until at least September 2025.
The reluctance of automakers to take meaningful steps towards ensuring consumer safety is cause for concern. Automatic braking technology works with or without driver intervention. Through the use of forward-looking radar, camera sensors and driver inputs, a vehicle equipped with an automatic braking system (ABS) can determine on its own whether a rear-end crash is likely. Crash imminent braking (CIB) systems will apply brakes when a driver does not react or when the driver has applied insufficient pressure or applies pressure too late, while dynamic brake support (DBS) systems only supplement a driver’s braking.
The NHTSA announced in November of 2015 that its 5-Star Rating System would be updated in 2018 to require inclusion of automatic braking technology. According to government regulators, automatic braking technology has been proven to substantially enhance driver and passenger safety. Automatic braking technology is particularly beneficial at a time when accidents caused by distracted driving are on the rise, Philadelphia car accident lawyers note. Although the NHTSA has reached an agreement with ten leading automobile manufacturers to move towards inclusion of automatic braking technology, the manufacturers’ participation is at this time voluntary.
In the absence of explicit government regulations, the automobile industry is free to continue offering automatic braking technology only as a pricey option for purchasers of new automobiles. As a result, passengers and drivers remain at risk of suffering injury in a rear-end collision. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call 800-222-8792 or complete an online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.