Auto Braking Systems Upgraded By NHTSA

United States regulators have decided to add automatic braking to the growing list of technologies that are considered “beneficial to safety” in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) star-rating consumer advisory system.

According to a new report from Claims Journal, the regulatory body made the announcement during a meeting of automotive engineers in Washington, D.C. The decision was made with confidence based on conclusions drawn from “frontal and side crash tests as well as rollover propensity on a scale of one to five stars, with five being the highest score.”

Automatic braking systems will dynamically engage brakes whenever the car’s sensory systems sense an impending collision is near. Public comments were called for in 2012, so Thursday’s decision culminates a nearly three-year-long discovery protocol.

“This isn’t stuff we’re dreaming up,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “Over the last 50 years, we’ve seen how technology can make a difference.”

Part of that “difference” comes with a number attached to it. Over the last 54 years, U.S. regulators estimate that safety tech has led to the saving of 613,501 lives, the Transportation Department reports.

“Today marks an enormous leap in the evolution of auto safety by encouraging adoption of new technologies to keep drivers and their passengers safe on our roads,” Foxx said in a statement. “I want this department, the entire automotive industry, and other innovators to keep raising the bar on safety like we are doing now.”

In related news, the U.S. Energy Department plans to dispense $55 million in grants in support of the President’s “efforts to improve fuel economy and make plug-in electric vehicles more affordable,” CJ reports, adding that the grants “will go to companies working on advanced battery technologies, including those that improve efficiency and reduce cost, lightweight materials and improved combustion engines.”

As an agent, today’s news is something that you can pass along for the benefit of customers for a number of reasons.

 

First, safety technologies really do save lives.

The impact of more than 600,000 people alive, who would otherwise have, in all likelihood, died from collisions is too real to ignore. While there is no guarantee things like automatic braking or rear-cameras or seat belts will automatically save lives, the research is there to show their effectiveness across an extended period of time. The Transportation Department’s own figures come from studies they’ve conducted since 1960, and it’s likely that you have someone on your customer list, who has benefitted from some form of safety tech over the years.

 

Second, the addition of automatic braking is just one more area where customers can potentially save.

For this the NHTSA has made it easy for customers, who may find themselves looking for a new car. The organization’s New Car Assessment Program, which publishes results of crash tests, “will now also list cars on the agency website that have the recommended safety technologies,” CJ reports, adding that this will include “those that automatically apply brakes if sensors indicate a crash is imminent or that apply extra force to brakes if the driver isn’t braking hard enough.”

The regulatory body also “maintains a list of recommended auto safety technologies, such as back-up cameras and warning systems that alerts a driver when their vehicle has moved out of its lane.”

By passing along these resources to customers in the market for a car, you can help them make a purchase that is most likely to save them money on their car insurance.

 

In Summary

Technology has made enormous advancements in the field of auto safety, and it can benefit both your auto insurance leads and customers in a number of ways, though they might not have all the information necessary to make the most informed decision. As an agent, this is just one more area where you can add value to client relationships.

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