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NHTSA seeks to educate drivers on advanced safety systems

Over the past decade, automakers have made great strides in adding advanced driver assistance systems with the goal of making everyone safer on the road.

However, studies by AAA and other safety organizations show a disturbing number of drivers don’t know how these systems work, and in many cases, that increases the likelihood of crashes.

To help educate drivers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a series of videos in May demonstrating the safety benefits of these technologies.

Videos seek to build on a broader safety campaign

Too many drivers don’t understand how to use safety features properly when buying a new car. Many believe these systems are automatic, which studies show has actually contributed to more distracted drivers. The NHTSA videos expand on the group’s social media campaign titled, “Your Car Needs You,” focusing on:

  • Rear automatic braking
  • Blindspot warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance
  • Automatic high beams
  • Forward collision warning

The NHTSA continues to monitor and evaluate how advanced safety features address hazards on the road and can prevent accidents. The agency is pursuing a comprehensive education approach, which includes carmakers as well as drivers.

Updates needed on 5-Star Safety Ratings for vehicles

Using its own research, AAA finds many of these advanced systems don’t always work as intended. The consumer safety advocate urges the NHTSA to revise its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include cars with these safety features.

The NCAP, which uses a star-rating system with five being the safest, has not been updated since 2011 before many of these technologies were widely available. As a result, no comprehensive information is available for drivers over how well these vehicles perform during side, frontal and rollover crashes.