Three Technologies Poised to Offer the Greatest Advancements in Highway Safety
WASHINGTON – In an effort to significantly reduce deaths and injuries on the nation’s roadways, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced its new “Significant and Seamless” initiative that calls for the agency and the automotive industry to aggressively accelerate achievable technological advances that would significantly improve safety.
NHTSA’s “Significant and Seamless” initiative aims to address the areas in highway safety where industry can fast-track existing technology for the greatest technological advances. The initiative emphasizes three promising areas of technological development and challenges both the automotive industry and the agency to determine the extent of, and ultimately utilize, the significant safety potential in these areas.
“Safety is our top priority and we can achieve remarkable progress in reducing injuries and fatalities in this era of innovation and technology,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today’s announcement focuses on real solutions that can significantly address safety issues that have plagued this nation for decades, including failure to use seat belts, drunk driving and driver error.”
The three technologies are:
- Seatbelt Interlocks – This technology could prevent a vehicle from being driven if the driver and passenger are not properly buckled. Using new authority under MAP-21, NHTSA is conducting research to inform an agency decision on whether to amend its standards to allow vehicle manufacturers to voluntarily use such interlocks in satisfying certain crash test requirements. For those manufacturers that choose seatbelt interlocks, the agency would look to provide appropriate regulatory relief from portions of the occupant protection standard. Each year, more than 3,000 people killed in crashes could have survived if they had been wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelt interlocks could increase use from the current national level of 86 percent to near 100 percent, saving thousands of lives a year. To provide safety benefits, NHTSA has begun research to ensure that such interlocks would be tamper-proof and highly reliable.
- Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) – This technology could prevent a vehicle from being driven by a drunk driver. NHTSA and the automotive industry have partnered to advance the long-term research in this advanced technology and will now begin working on the legal, public policy and consumer acceptance issues to ensure that when the technology is ready for commercialization, manufacturers that choose to offer the system as an option will find a marketplace with few to no impediments to consumer adoption. The goal is to develop a system that can accurately and reliably detect when a driver is above the legal alcohol limit. The automatic system would be enabled every time the car is started, but unobtrusive so it would not pose an inconvenience to the non-intoxicated driver. According to new NHTSA data released earlier today, 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012. The majority of those people died in crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher – nearly double the legal limit. Such technology could save thousands of these victims every year.
- Forward Collision Avoidance and Mitigation (FCAM) – This sensor-based, vehicle technology could detect a forward crash with another vehicle or pedestrian before it occurs, by alerting the driver to take corrective action to avoid the crash. In 2012, one-third of all police reported crashes involved a rear-end collision with another vehicle as the first harmful event in the crash. This technology could automatically apply the brakes to assist in preventing or reducing the severity of crashes. NHTSA has been doing intensive research on the reliability of this technology and developing relevant performance measures. Based on its research, the agency has enough data to make an agency decision this year as to pathways to advance market penetration into the rest of the fleet.
The three technologies chosen under the Significant & Seamless initiative were selected because they have great lifesaving potential, and their combined effect could have an impact on decreasing the death toll.
“In addition to our ongoing work with states and the automotive industry, we need a new vision, and a new blend of technological research to address some of the most significant and persistent threats to American motorists,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “We must look to technological intervention to make the next great leap, and get them poised for fleet adoption as soon as possible.”
The new “Significant and Seamless” initiative builds on a solid foundation of NHTSA safety programs. These programs include work with states to educate motorists, improve driving behavior, including emergency response to crashes, and will increase the agency’s commitment to enhancing occupant protection, crash worthiness and crash avoidance, with the promise of automated driving.
Earlier this year, NHTSA released a “Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles,” describing research plans and the various levels of vehicle automation ranging from no-automation to full self-driving automation. The plan also offered guidance to states for moving forward with testing automated vehicles on their roads. View NHTSA’s preliminary policy on automated vehicles.
It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week and parents across the nation struggle with how to address tough topics with their teens, but one of the most important topics to talk about is frequently forgotten — how to drive safely.
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killers of teens in America. In 2011, 2,105 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes – with almost half (45%) of those teen drivers being killed in those crashes.
Yet, a recent survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have had that “serious” talk with their teens about the key components of safe driving.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that teens are only children, and they still have a lot to learn. What parents teach them about driving safely and responsibly may just help save their life.
That’s why local and state highway safety and law enforcement organizations teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to launch a new National Teen Driver Safety Week campaign called “5 to Drive.”
This parent education campaign is designed to challenge and encourage parents to talk it out with their teens and to regularly “set the rules before they hit the road.”
Each day during teen safety week, NHTSA features tips for parents to help keep their teens safe behind the wheel. Set the rules before they hit the road:
1. No Cell Phones While Driving.
Teens texting or dialing while driving have proven to be recipes for disaster. In 2011, 270 people were killed in crashes involving distracted teen drivers. REMEMBER, One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.
2. No Extra Passengers.
Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in the car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior when traveling with multiple passengers increased to three times. REMEMBER, No extra passengers in the car.
3. No Speeding.
4. No Alcohol.
Although all States have zero tolerance laws for drinking and driving under 21, 505 people died in crashes in which 14- to 18-year-old drivers had alcohol in their systems. Nationally in 2011, 27 percent of teen drivers killed had some level of alcohol in their systems. Parents should show zero tolerance for any sign of impaired driving. Teens need to hear this again and again: REMEMBER, No Drinking and Driving.
5. No Driving or Riding Without a Seat Belt.
Teenage belt use is not what it should be. In 2011, over half of the teen occupants of passenger vehicles who died were unrestrained. Teens, and all adults for that matter, need to buckle up every trip, every time, day and night, no matter the distance. REMEMBER, Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time – Front-Seat and Back.
If you are a parent, you’ve tried to protect your kids their entire lives. So don’t hand them the keys to a 2-ton machine and expect them to know what to do.
Please talk to your kids—this week and every week—about how to be smart and safe behind the wheel.
Remember, the “5 to Drive” – Always Set the Rules Before Your Teens Hit the Road. For more information about national Teen Driver Safety Week and the new “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents/teendriving.htm.
Article via: Traffic Safety Marketing
Today is National Seat Check Saturday. It is an opportunity for parents and caregivers to make sure their children are in the right car seat.
According to the NHTSA and the US Department of Transportation, “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 1 through 12 years old. Based on NHTSA crash data in 2010, almost an average of 2 children (age 12 and younger in a passenger vehicle) were killed and 325 were injured each day. This fatality rate could be reduced by about half if the correct child safety seat were always used.” Further, children might not be in the correctly sized car seat for their age and size or properly secured.
National Seat Check Saturday is an opportunity to reduce the risk of fatal injury to children in car seats. Right now, “3 out of 4 kids are not as secure in the car as they should be because their car seats are not being used correctly.” You can visit an Inspection Station where “certified technicians will inspect your child car seat, in most cases, free of charge – and show you how to correctly install and use it.”
To visit your local Child Car Seat Inspection Station, you can locate it by searching here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/apps/cps/index.htm
Check out this infographic to learn more about Car Seat Recommendations:
-The resqme team
Is My Child as Safe as Possible in the Car? – The Question Every Parent Needs to Ask
By NHTSA and Traffic Safety Marketing
Of the many questions you ask yourself every day, “Is my child as safe as possible in the car?” should be at the top of your list. The answer could be the difference between life, serious injury and death for your child.
Car crashes are a leading killer of children age 1 to 13. From 2007 to 2011 an estimated 634,000 children under 13 in cars, pickups, vans and SUVs were injured in crashes.
A child is much more fragile – and thus much more vulnerable in a car crash — than an adult. Your children count on you to keep them safe; it’s not just about putting them in car seats. The best way to protect your children is to place them in the right seats for their ages and size, install them correctly, and ensure that the car seats fit in your vehicle.
Research shows car seats decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers in cars, and 58 percent and 59 percent for infants and toddlers in SUVs, pickups and vans.
Some parents reading this may think their children are already safe because they ride in a large vehicle. But the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that SUVs are involved in a far larger number of crash-related deaths for children than other vehicles. Worse yet, over half of all children who died while riding in SUVs weren’t buckled in at the time of their deaths. Many families choose SUVs as their primary vehicles due to the number of passengers they can carry and the perceived safety of their size. But the vehicle alone can’t keep your kids safe.
That’s why events such as Child Passenger Safety Week, September 15-21, 2013, are so critical in helping parents choose the right seat for their children and learning how to use them the right way.
The highlight of the week is National Seat Check Saturday, September 21, where parents, guardians and other caregivers can have their children’s car seats inspected by Certified Child Passenger Safety technicians and learn how to install them the right way to keep their children safe. Technicians can help parents and caregivers determine if their children are ready to move from rear-facing to forward-facing seats, from forward-facing seats to booster seats, or from booster seats to seat belts. The technicians can also help make sure that your car seat is registered so that you’ll be notified in case your car seat is recalled.
If you can’t make it to a National Seat Check Saturday event, you can still have your car seat examined by a certified technician. To locate a Certified Child Passenger Safety technician in your area, go to nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting or download the free SaferCar app from the iTunes App Store. The service that the technicians offer is available year-round, by appointment, and is usually free of charge.
Parents, guardians and caregivers can also visit safercar.gov/parents to learn other tips on car seat safety, watch how-to videos and sign up for car seat recall notifications.