A recent study conducted by Consumer Reports claims that the current safety technologies found in vehicles could save thousands of lives if they are made standard across all brands and models.
The study specifically names three safety technologies; however, all are usually included in range-topping trims and with hefty price tags so there are fewer people who have access to them.
The safety tech features the Consumer Reports study talks about include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and lane departure warning. According to the publication, adopting these technologies across vehicle fleets would mean a reduction of 11,000 traffic deaths in the United States.
Although there are already a few automakers packaging the these technologies as standard equipment, there are still a lot that do not. One of the reasons cited by Consumer Reports is because there is no specific mandate that requires car manufacturers to offer them as standard features instead of optional packages.
Consumer Reports also cited a separate study showing that consumers pay an average of $2,000 on top of a car’s retail price to add automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot warning to their vehicles. The study also mentioned two cases where an automaker charged an extra $12,000 just for two features.
Moreover, the study also delved into pedestrian detection systems, a safety feature that is also offered in some high-end vehicles. Based on the data, standardizing these systems would prevent no less than 800 deaths annually.
Other technologies Consumer Reports thinks would be helpful in lowering traffic accident deaths include vehicle-to-vehicle communications and drunk driving prevention technologies. The study, however, admitted it will take more time for these two safety features to become readily available.