The board recommended manufacturers begin by making a warning system standard, and then add automatic emergency braking after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration completes standards for them. Only four of 684 passenger vehicle models in 2014 included automatic braking systems as a standard feature: the Mercedes-Benz G Class 4X4, an SUV; the Subaru Forester and Outback, also SUVs, and the Subaru Legacy, a mid-sized sedan. When the systems are offered as options they are typically on high-end vehicles like Cadillac, Infiniti and Lexus models and are often bundled with non-safety features like heated seats or faux leather interiors, making the overall package more expensive. “Slow and insufficient action on the part of the (highway traffic administration) to develop performance standards for these technologies and require them in passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as a lack of incentives for manufacturers, has contributed to the ongoing and unacceptable frequency of rear-end crashes,” the report said.
Should all cars sold in the U.S. have some type of collision avoidance systems in place? While I think this is a good idea in concept, as I have pointed out in other blog posts (click here), such systems will always have their limitations and are no substitute for sound driving habits, which are the best way to avoid car crashes.