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How the US determines what makes a car safe

The recent spike in road traffic deaths has sparked concern among safety advocates, government officials, and even the industry itself.

Losses – 1.36 deaths per 100 million transport miles traveled – were named “national crisis” US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

However, driving is now much safer than it was in 1980, when road traffic deaths hit a record high of 3.36 deaths per 100 million miles driven.

The history of automotive safety is a history of key inventions and bitter political battles over what automakers should put in their cars and what people should do on the road.

In years past—before these inventions and regulatory infighting—vehicle safety was mostly an afterthought, while today, three-point seat belts, child seats, and airbags are ubiquitous.

Automakers such as Honda and General Motors are racing to sell vehicles that are either completely accident-free or completely accident-free, and inventors are shifting their focus to new technologies such as driver-assistance systems.

Indeed, some of the new driver-assistance tools, including automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection systems, are making safety advocates excited.

But such modern systems also raise a number of new security issues. And the recent spike in road traffic deaths shows that despite all the progress, driving still comes with some risks.

Watch the video to find out more.


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