Vehicle Improvements Add Safety

Recently, auto manufacturers have been implementing changes to increase vehicle safety. Some of which have been urged by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) such as incorporating crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that if you drive a late-model vehicle, your chances of dying in a car crash were reduced by more than 33% in only three years time. New vehicle safety features are mostly responsible for this decline in fatalities.

“We know from our vehicle ratings program that crash test performance has been getting steadily better,” said David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer, in a recent IIHS article. He added, “The complete elimination of traffic deaths is still many decades away, and, along with vehicle improvements, getting there will require changes in road design and public policy that can help protect all road users.”

Zero traffic deaths is a worthwhile goal, a goal Sweden has been working toward since 1997. They have the record of the lowest number of child deaths with their long-term rear-facing guidelines — children in Sweden remain rear facing until they are 4 years old then they move into a belt positioning device.

The IIHS keeps track of how many driver deaths per type of vehicle in a model year. For 2011 models, there were nine vehicles with a driver death rate of zero. These vehicles include several luxury models and also less expensive ones like the Kia Sorento and the Subaru Legacy. Two-thirds of these vehicles are SUVs.

The increased number of lives saved is good and vehicle safety improvements will continue to be made. NHSTA says they will continue to push for innovative and effective solutions to reduce motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. — fewer crashes, fewer fatalities.

Until that time vehicle occupants still need to improve seat belt use, increase correct car seat installation, enhance seat belt design for pregnant women (and those little lives who often aren’t counted as they are yet to be born) with the Tummy Shield, and decrease distracted and drunk driving to further reduce crash fatalities.

By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004

Article copyright 2015 Safe Ride 4 Kids. This material has been revised from their original content and published here with permission.

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