That equals almost 20,000 lives. Every year.
According to data by the National Safety Council, 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes in the United States in 2019. And while this figure represents the third consecutive year with a decline in road deaths in the country, it’s still insanely huge.
A new comprehensive survey by Consumer Reports finds out that we can actually cut the annual road deaths by half if we implement existing modern safety technologies in all new vehicles. Simply put, if the industry’s standards for safety equipment across all makes and models require some of the latest safety systems, nearly 20,000 people could be saved each year.
“Instead of providing safety for all, automakers put the burden on people to research, understand, and often pay extra for lifesaving car features,” William Wallace, manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports, comments. “It takes decades for safety technology to come standard on all new cars as a result. Policymakers should choose a different path - one that will save lives now.”
CR’s findings estimate that about 11,800 lives can be saved every year if automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind-spot warning were standard on all new cars sold in America. In addition, between 3,700 and 7,400 lives can be saved if all new vehicles get drunk driving prevention technology as standard, while further at least 1,300 lives can be saved if the industry adopts vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology.
According to Consumer Reports’ analysis, if we combine all existing technologies and implement them into new cars, this would save somewhere between 16,800 and 20,500 lives. Every year. The technology is there and basically every manufacturer has it, we just need to make better rules and require these technologies to be standard for all cars.
“We’re urging every member of Congress to put safety first by requiring life saving features to come standard on all new cars,” Wallace adds. “The technologies are here to cut road deaths in half, and it would only compound the ongoing tragedy of lives lost on our roads if our leaders fail to ensure all drivers have them on their cars.”