The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report last week in which it called for collision avoidance systems to be installed in all new passenger and commercial vehicles. The report stems from an investigation the agency conducted into two vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks.
Report Finds Collision Avoidance Systems Reduce Accidents
A key finding of the investigation was that the presence of collision avoidance systems could have prevented or decreased the severity of almost 80% of accidents involving commercial trucks in 2011 and 2012.
As a part of the investigation, the NTSB studied nine separate accidents in which a passenger or commercial vehicle rear-ended another vehicle. The nine chosen accidents were more catastrophic than average. The accidents resulted in 28 fatalities and 90 injuries.
The report concluded that the most common cause of rear-end crashes was driver error and that collision avoidance systems with active braking could significantly reduce the number of rear-end accidents.
How Collision Avoidance Systems Work
Collision avoidance systems continuously monitor the vehicle’s surrounding to detect potential hazards, such as a stopped or slowing vehicle. When a hazard is detected, the system automatically warns the driver through a loud signal. If the driver does not react to the hazard quickly enough, they system will begin applying its own pressure to the braking system to stop or slow the vehicle.
Other Safety Improvements Recommended By the NTSB
The NTSB is the federal agency responsible for investigating aviation and significant commercial vehicle accidents in the United States. Based on those investigations, the NTSB makes safety recommendations to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, which uses those recommendations to enact new federal regulations.