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Archive for the ‘Traffic Fatalities’ Category

Rear-Seat Occupants at Higher Risk of Death, Injury, Warns IIHS

Manufacturers need to “solve this puzzle,” says IIHS president.

by on Apr.25, 2019

Rear-seat occupants are less likely to survive some frontal crashes than those up front, warns the IIHS.

Automotive manufacturers have made significant improvements in safety in recent years, but rear-seat passengers may be getting left behind, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The insurance industry trade group studied more than 100 fatal crashes, while conducting a series of its own tests, and found that passengers seated in the rear are less likely to survive a frontal collision because they often don’t have access to effective safety systems such as frontal airbags.

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“Manufacturers have put a lot of work into improving protection for drivers and front-seat passengers,” IIHS President David Harkey said in a statement. “We hope a new evaluation will spur similar progress in the back seat.”

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NHTSA Analyzing 12.3M Non-Takata Airbags Due to Possible Defect

ZF-TRW produced airbags for six automakers.

by on Apr.24, 2019

The 2011–13 Kia Optima has already been recalled once for an airbag problem.

As U.S. auto safety regulators are attempting to wind down the ongoing Takata airbag debacle, they are now investigating nearly 12.3 million vehicles with airbags that may not inflate during a collision.

The vehicles are equipped with airbags produced by ZF-TRW, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and could be responsible for as many as eight fatalities. The airbags do not inflate due to faulty control units.

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The investigation involves 2010-2019 model year vehicles produced by Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota. (more…)

Increase Speed Limits Result in Increased Deaths, IIHS Says

Increases accounted for nearly 2,000 more deaths in 2017.

by on Apr.08, 2019

There are now 41 states with highway speeds higher than 70 mph.

Improvements in the safety of new vehicles such as stronger materials, better designs and new technology haven’t been enough to offset the effect of increased speed limits on traffic fatalities.

Higher speed limited can be tied to the deaths of nearly 37,000 people during the last 25 years, according to new research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In 2017,  1,934 were killed because of increased speed limits, IIHS found.

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“Every time you raise speed limits, you see more deaths,” said Charles Farmer, IIHS vice president for research and statistical services, who conducted the study. “Sure, you save a little bit of time driving, but there’s this trade-off that you have to admit is there and decide whether or not it’s worth it.” (more…)

Takata Airbag Kills 16th Person in U.S., NHTSA Says

Driver was at the wheel of 2002 Honda Civic: 14th Honda fatality.

by on Mar.29, 2019

Takata's faulty airbags claimed their 16th victim in the U.S. Fatality discovered during recent NHTSA and American Honda investigation.

Takata’s faulty airbags that triggered the most expansive automotive recall in U.S. industry have killed another person, according to a newly completed investigation, bringing the total number of U.S. fatalities tied to the airbags to 16.

Following a joint inspection by American Honda Co. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it was determined the driver of a 2002 Honda Civic was killed June 8, 2018, in Buckeye, Arizona.

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After sustaining injuries from the ruptured inflator, the unidentified driver died June 11. It is the 14thperson killed driving a Honda equipped with Takata airbags. More than 200 people have been injured by the faulty devices. (more…)

Volvo Using Cameras to Prevent Distracted, Drunk Driving

Move comes after plans to keep top speed to 112 mph.

by on Mar.21, 2019

Volvo plans to use in-car cameras and other sensors to help prevent drunk and distracted driving crashes.

Volvo Cars is looking to finish what it loosely describes as a safety “triangle” by using in-car cameras and other sensors to prevent crashes and fatalies due to drunk or distracted drivers by 2021.

Last month, the company introduced the first “side” of the triangle by limiting the top speed of its non-Polestar vehicles to 112 mph. Now by ensuring whomever is behind the wheel is capable of making appropriate decisions, Volvo believes it is significantly closer to its goal of zero traffic deaths.

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“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president, Research & Development at Volvo Cars. “In this case, cameras will monitor for behavior that may lead to serious injury or death.” (more…)

One of Nine Pickups Earns Top Rating in IIHS Crash Tests

Nearly half of the trucks rated marginal or poor.

by on Mar.21, 2019

Ford's F-150 was one of the best performers in the latest IIHS pickup crash tests.

Pickup buyers concerned about safety might be surprised by the results of the latest IIHS crash results that found over half of the nine models scored poorly in at least one of the key tests,  four earning marginal or poor ratings overall.

Of the trucks the IIHS examined, only two earned good ratings, the Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan. And just one 2019 model, the Honda Ridgeline, earned the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick award – but only when equipped with optional headlights and forward collision prevention technology.

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“As a group,” said David Zuby, the chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “the pickup class still has a lot of work to do.”

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Safety Advocates Push for Adoption of Drunk Driving Deterrents

Groups pushing for installation of devices in new vehicles.

by on Mar.15, 2019

Former NHTSA Chief Joan Claybrook is leading the charge for ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving.

Safety advocates and other groups are looking to add some momentum to new ignition interlock technology that would prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and driving, saving thousands of lives annually.

Joan Claybrook, a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), urged Congress to pass a law forcing automakers to include passive ignition-interlock systems in all new motor vehicles within as little as three years.

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“I don’t know what’s the matter with the industry on this issue,” Claybrook said during testimony Thursday before the House consumer protection and commerce subcommittee. (more…)

Pedestrian Deaths Climb to 28-Year High

Experts search for solutions, both high and low-tech.

by on Mar.01, 2019

The BMW X1 failed the IIHS pedestrian test, sending the dummy airborne during the exercise. Others suggest SUVs play a large role in rising pedestrian deaths.

Pedestrian deaths continued to rise at an alarming rate last year, reaching a 28-year high, according to new government data.

While a variety of factors appear to be responsible, including the use of smartphones by both drivers and pedestrians, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association also is pointing the finger at the explosive growth of SUVs which, like other light trucks, have tall, blunt noses that make it less likely someone will roll off of a vehicle when struck.

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Though formal federal data has yet to be released, the GHSA used statistical data analysis to estimate that 6,227 men, women and children were killed while walking on or alongside U.S. roads last year. If the official numbers back that up it would mark a 4% increase from 2017, and the largest number of pedestrian fatalities since 2018. (more…)

New IIHS Tests Show Wide Disparity in Automakers’ Pedestrian Crash Avoidance Tech

BMW system sent dummies “airborne.”

by on Feb.21, 2019

The BMW X1 failed the IIHS pedestrian test, sending the dummy airborne during the exercise.

Pedestrian fatalities have been on a rapid rise in recent years, something some experts blame on the shift to blunt-nosed utility vehicles. Whatever the reason, automakers are under pressure to find ways to reduce the problem.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has launched a study to evaluate and compare the performance of new pedestrian crash avoidance technology and the first pass found wide disparity between the 11 small SUVs put to the test. The majority of the vehicles earned top ratings, but two performed poorly, the BMW X1 sending a crash dummy “airborne” when it failed to come to a stop.

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“We want to encourage manufacturers to include pedestrian detection capabilities as they equip more of their vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems,” said David Aylor, the IIHS manager of Active Safety Testing. “We also want to arm consumers with information about these systems so they can make smart choices when shopping for a new vehicle.” (more…)

Government Shutdown Delayed Rules Authorizing Potentially Life-Saving Headlight Technologies

Updated safety rules may not be complete until late 2020.

by on Jan.30, 2019

This schematic shows how Adaptive Driving Beams, or ADB, can selectively reshape their lighting to prevent glare for other motorists.

Your car is still operating back in the 1960s – at least when it comes to its headlights, anyway.

Sure, it might use new bi-xenon or even LED bulbs, rather than ancient incandescent technology, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to revise lighting standards that have gone virtually unchanged for a half century, delaying implementation of breakthrough systems that are saving lives in much of the rest of the world.

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“We have millions of cars around the world” using the latest lighting technology, said Steffen Pietzonka, a senior marketing executive with Hella, one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive lighting, “but not in the U.S., because American (lighting) regulations date back to the 1960s.”

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