Inept Drivers Force NTSB To Recommend Collision Avoidance Tech For All Cars

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has grown tired of waiting on future technologies to help curb the dangers of distracted driving and is recommending that currently available collision avoidance systems be a standard feature on all new passenger and commercial vehicles. From the NTSB's standpoint, consumers don't pay extra for seatbelts, nor should they be charged for technology that can help prevent an accident from occurring in the first place.

NTSB's recommendation is part of a special report that was issued this week. In it, the government organization points out that rear-end crashes claim 1,700 lives each and every year, while injuring half a million more. It's estimated that over 80 percent of the deaths and injuries and injuries could have been mitigated if the vehicles involved had a collision avoidance system.

Rear-End Crash

It's one of a dozen recommendations the NTSB has made over the past 20 years in favor of forward collision avoidance technologies, 10 of which are the result of an earlier report issued in 2001. However, little progress has been made, as just four out of 684 passenger vehicles models in 2014 included a complete forward collision avoidance system as a standard feature. As the NTSB sees it, the problem with offering them separately is that they're often bundled with non-safety features, making the package more expensive than it needs to be.

There's also frustration stemming from the ongoing waiting game the industry finds itself in.

"The promise of a next generation of safety improvements has been used too often to justify inaction," Hart said. "Because there will always be better technologies over the horizon, we must be careful to avoid letting perfection become the enemy of the good."

This is something that should resonate with PC users who can get caught up constantly waiting for new CPU and GPU technologies around the bend rather than building now and enjoying a new system. Only the stakes are much higher when you're taking about cars and rear-end collisions.