Future Crash Test Scores Could Include Active Safety Systems
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety may revise its new car-ratings to judge how well automated systems avoid crashes.
Safety experts have long predicted that the European New Car Assessment Program, an independent crash-test agency, would factor in active safety systems, such as auto-braking, into a vehicle's overall score. In June, Euro NCAP said it would rate the systems starting in 2014, as part of the European Union's overall goal to cut traffic deaths in half by 2020. Now, Autoblog reports that the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an independent agency backed by insurance companies, is considering rating active safety systems as part of its overall crash scores.
"Based on the evidence of the effectiveness of auto-brake systems, we expect them to be added to our evaluations in the future," the IIHS said in an interview with Autoblog.
The IIHS completed a study in July showing how certain safety features, such as active headlamps and auto-braking, reduced insurance costs on certain models. However, the IIHS told MSN that individual premiums would likely increase, not decrease, since the technology is expensive to replace in an accident.
The IIHS did not say when it might revise the tests, nor is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration planning to change its own ratings. (NHTSA had proposed ranking active safety systems on an "A to C" scale, but so far, nothing has come of it.) However, after a yearlong test of aftermarket safety systems running in Honda Accords, NHTSA concluded that as many as 788,000 accidents could be prevented each year, but only if every car were so equipped. Any potential changes in crash-test ratings to where a top score would require active safety systems could force more automakers to offer the features on cheaper cars.
With few exceptions, most cars carrying the most critical active safety equipment, such as lane departure warning, auto-braking and pedestrian detection, are luxury cars costing more than $40,000. In Europe, though, Ford, Mazda, Volkswagen and Honda all offer such systems on lower-cost models for minimal premiums.
It's getting better here, albeit slowly. Honda will introduce collision alert and lane departure warning on the 2013 Accord, while Subaru will offer auto-braking on the 2013 Legacy and Outback. Ford is also offering lane departure warning on the 2013 Fusion.
[Source: Autoblog, Car and Driver]
Don't they do these crash-avoidance tests during your road test for your license - when they evaluate your ability to drive a car without hitting stuff?
And what if I want to hit something? What if I see a dog, or other similiar 100% useless animal, and I WANT to hit it? The car won't let me? What ever happened to FUN behind the wheel?
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