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In 2012 alone, more than 1.7 million rear-end crashes occurred on our nation’s highways, resulting in more than 1,700 fatalities and 500,000 injured people. Many of these crashes could have been mitigated, or possibly even prevented, had rear-end collision avoidance technologies been in place. However, slow and insufficient action on the part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop performance standards for these technologies and require them in passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as a lack of incentives for manufacturers, has contributed to the ongoing and unacceptable frequency of rear-end crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has an extensive history of investigating rear-end crashes and has encouraged technological countermeasures since 1995. To date, the NTSB has issued 12 recommendations pertaining to this safety issue. In 2001, the NTSB released a Special Investigation Report on rear-end crashes that focused on technology as a potential countermeasure and made several recommendations to federal agencies and vehicle manufacturers (NTSB 2001). Due to a lack of progress in the implementation of NTSB recommendations intended to mitigate or prevent rear-end crashes, the recent technological advancements in collision avoidance technologies, and the continued prevalence of rear-end crashes, the NTSB is revisiting the topic of rear-end crash prevention.
TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Once the rating scale, described in Safety Recommendation H-15-6, is established, include the ratings of forward collision avoidance systems on the vehicle Monroney labels.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Open - Acceptable Response
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
NHTSA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Safety Recommendation History
As we noted in our June 7, 2016, letter, we are encouraged by your notice of planned enhancements to the NCAP 5-star rating system, including changes to the Monroney label. Please send us an update outlining your planned actions and a timeline for addressing these recommendations. Pending such action, Safety Recommendations H-15-6 and -7 remain classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
We note that, on December 16, 2015, you published a notice of planned enhancements to the NCAP 5-star rating system, including changes to the Monroney label. In our February 16, 2016, comments to your notice (enclosed), we recognized the benefits of the NCAP 5-star rating system and stated that we believe that similar ratings for crash avoidance technologies could speed the deployment of these technologies, as well as encourage manufacturers to improve them continuously. We further urged you to consider providing an ordinal scale in the rating for forward collision warning systems. We are encouraged by the progress you have made toward addressing these recommendations. Pending completion of the recommended actions and our review of the final product, Safety Recommendations H-15-6 and -7 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
-From Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., Administrator: With regard to Safety Recommendations H-15-4 and H-15-5, we request that these recommendations be classified as "Open-Acceptable Response." NHTSA is currently researching forward collision avoidance systems as part of its in-vehicle crash avoidance program. This progran1 encompasses projects that focus on vehicle-based equipment, systems, and technologies-such as forward collision avoidance systems-that help ensure that motor vehicles are optimally prepared to prevent crashes from occurring. These technologies involve on-board equipment, such as sensors or cameras, that do not require communication between vehicles. With regard to Safety Recommendations H -15-6 and H -15-7, we request that these safety recommendations be classified "Open-Acceptable Response." On December 16, 2015, NHTSA published planned enhancements to our New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) that would assess safety ratings for vehicles that incorporate advanced technologies, including forward collision avoidance technologies, and discussed addressing changes to the Monroney label. We believe that these new safety ratings, when adopted, will fully address Safety Recommendations H-15-6 and H-15-7.
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