Mandatory Safety Equipment Being Considered for Cars

William E. Johnson
December 3, 2013

Car Manufacturers to Consider Collision Detection and Seatbelt Interlocks as Standard Equipment

Collision avoidance, seat belt interlocks, and alcohol detection systems are all being considered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its new “Significant and Seamless” initiative. On November 14th NHTSA publicly announced that the Significant and Seamless initiative will provide incentives for U.S. car manufacturers to voluntarily install new technologies to reduce the risk of injuries in auto accidents. NHTSA hopes that it can encourage auto manufacturers to institute these new technologies within the next few years.

Forward Collision Avoidance and Mitigation Systems

The most impressive new technology proposed by NHTSA is the forward collision avoidance and mitigation system. These systems have been developed to sense when a vehicle is about to collide with another vehicle or object and automatically apply the brakes to reduce the severity or even prevent the crash. Collision detection systems have been installed in several vehicle models already but NHTSA is considering ways to make installation an industry standard.

Seat belt interlock devicesSeatbelt Interlocks

According to NHTSA more than 3,000 accident fatalities can be avoided each year by the use of seatbelts. Seat belt interlocks prevent a vehicle from starting unless the driver and passenger are strapped in. These interlocks are not necessarily a new technology. In 1975 Congress passed legislation that banned their use. However, this initiative is also under considerable criticism today. In return for initializing the interlock technology NHTSA is considering reducing the burden of its regulations governing crash test requirements. This would help manufacturers make vehicles lighter and less expensive, but some argue that this would also make vehicles less sturdy in an actual impact.

Driver Alcohol Detection System

Alcohol detection technology is another feature that NHTSA would seek to have standard on all vehicles. Two main approaches are being considered by NHTSA. The first is a touch sensor that estimates the amount of alcohol in the body based on a reading of the tissue at the finger. The second approach is an unobtrusive breath analyzer that estimates blood alcohol levels by calculating the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the breath.

West Palm Beach Auto Accident Attorney

Unfortunately, driving in South Florida is a risky activity. Auto accidents and serious injuries occur every day despite the existence of new technologies to increase driving safety. If you have been injured in a car accident call the West Palm Beach car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of William E. Johnson, P.A. Our experienced Palm Beach County personal injury attorneys can help assert your rights to recovery, call 561-832-4848 today.