Automakers welcome the news of a second consecutive year of declines in highway fatalities following the U.S. Department of Transportation report that 2018’s highway fatalities were down 2.4 percent from a year earlier. The department’s preliminary figures for 2019’s first six months shows a further decrease, down 3.4 percent from the same period a year earlier.
Safety is a shared responsibility, and we are committed to working with all stakeholders to develop a shared vision for the future that further enhances safety benefits for consumers.
NHTSA’s research tells us that driver behavior plays a role in more than nine out of every ten crashes (94 percent). That is why driver assist technologies on the road today, like blind spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking, can be effective in helping to improve roadway safety. Automakers are deploying potentially life-saving innovations now, which is why it’s critical to have smart policies that help get new, proven, safety technologies to customers. Deployment of these potentially life-saving technologies is expanding rapidly; nearly half of all vehicles sold in model year 2018 had collision warning, collision mitigation, and blind spot monitoring installed.
The industry remains committed to working with the DOT and others in advancing U.S. innovation and leadership in transforming auto safety and mobility. However, we cannot overlook the importance of other factors like public education, strong law enforcement, more people using safety belts, not speeding, and reducing impaired or distracted driving. All of these can bring immediate safety benefits to the traveling public each and every day.