NEW YORK – If you own – or just drive a car – safety is probably very important to you. But are you willing to pay for it? Several American automakers are toying with marketing plans to see how much your safety is worth to you; and some argue it’s putting lives at risk.
A horde of car manufacturers recently told lawmakers they plan to implement critical safety features, like autonomous emergency braking, on all new models by 2022. However, the technology is here now.
A Brooklyn car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says buyers in the United Kingdom are already scooping-up vehicles with advanced safety systems.
“Nearly 75-percent of the new cars sold in the U.K. last year had some sort of crash warning or automatic braking system,” Brooklyn car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “Rear-end collisions are some of the most common disasters on the road and these safety features have proven to help reduce those accidents.”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, only 1-percent of 2015 vehicles sold in America had standard automatic braking. In fact, the system wasn’t even offered on 74-percent of new vehicles.
Compare that to the numbers in Europe, laid out in a study from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT):
- Forward collision warning systems were features in 58.1-percent of new cars. More than half of those vehicles listed the equipment as ‘standard.’
- Autonomous braking covered 29-percent of new cars.
- Blind spot monitoring was built in 35.8-percent of British vehicles.
- Adaptive cruise control was equipped on 33-percent of the UK’s new cars.
Although the majority of these systems were ‘optional’ equipment, the safety features were widely purchased in the UK. In the U.S., buyers generally opted for the most cost-effective package.
“Carmakers don’t charge you extra to have seatbelts in your vehicle,” Barnes said. “If there’s a safety system that can reduce injuries, it should be included in all new vehicles.”
Brooklyn car accident lawyers say distracted driving is one of the largest problems on American roads today – and some of the new technology the Brits are buying could help keep a drivers’ attention on the road.
Many warning systems can alert a driver when their eyesight drifts away from windshield. Other systems can adjust the vehicles’ speed to the traffic ahead – or even automatically brake in emergency scenarios.
Attorneys say we already have the technology to make roads safer but many drivers just aren’t buying it. And, at least for now, some automakers aren’t willing to secure your family for free.