Bob Passmore, assistant vice president, policy development and research at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), has issued the following statement commending the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) announcement that 20 automakers have agreed to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept. 1, 2022. Passmore also urges policymakers to continue important deliberations over the role of motorist behavior in the highway safety debate:
“Accident safety is a top issue for auto insurers. Today, 20 visionary automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market made history by pledging to make automatic emergency braking standard on virtually all new vehicles by Sept. 1, 2022.
“This is a big step for protecting motorists and pedestrians. PCI commends the automakers, NHTSA and IIHS for their work not only on this issue, but their longstanding commitment to reducing auto crashes and injuries.”
Passmore added, “Advancements in technology have made automobiles tremendously safer over the decades. Yet, since 2014, there has been a significant increase in auto accidents and deaths on our roads. PCI analysis has found that distracted driving, more traffic congestion and an increase in miles driven are playing a role in these accident frequency trends. And now there are indications that factors such as distracted walking and decriminalization of marijuana also could be contributing to these trends.
“The promotion and expansion of accident avoidance technology is paramount for protecting motorists. We also urge policymakers and industry thought leaders to continue addressing the impact of motorist behavior as an important part of the safety equation.”