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Consumer Reports: Can cars save more lives?

Posted at 6:51 AM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 09:51:19-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Did you know that nine out of every ten serious crashes are linked to driver error? Safety features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are proven to help avoid them. But these safety features are only standard in 44 % of 2019 model cars. Consumer Reports would like to see ALL cars have this life-saving technology.

“We think these technologies are so important that they factor into our ratings," says Consumer Reports Auto Editor, Jeff Plungis. "We’d like more vehicles to have these safety features as standard equipment and unfortunately the roll out has been slow.”

And CR says the slow-to-market safety technology is all too common. Take a look at seat belts. Consumer Reports tested them in 1956, but it took more than ten years for the government to require them on all cars! And since 1960, more than 300,000 lives have been saved. Even today seat belt technology has evolved to make passengers safer.

“Two parts of the seatbelt that really work during a crash are the pretensioner and the limiter," says Plungis. "The pretensioner pulls the belt tight during the crash so you don’t fly forward and the load limiter lets out a little bit of slack as that’s happening so that as you’re flying into the seatbelt you don’t get hurt by the belt. All this great technology isn’t standard on all cars and isn’t always available in the back seat. We need to find ways to save lives. It shouldn't be a luxury option.”