ALEXANDRIA, VA - With over 230 million vehicles on America's roads today, the issue of driver safety has never been more important. Automakers are responding to this need by equipping vehicles with some of the most advanced safety technologies to date. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, automotive safety features have saved 329,000 lives since 1960.
"Automobiles have never been safer," commented American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) President Marianne McInerney. "As "passive" safety gear, or crash protection technology -- including, seat belts, air bags and antilock brakes (ABS) -- have become standard on most vehicles, automakers are shifting their focus beyond the minimum Federal regulations and are working on innovative crash avoidance technologies, designed to prevent crashes before they occur."
Below is a just a sampling of the new innovations in the area of auto safety:
- Lane Departure Warning Systems. A computer-operated alert system that warns drivers when they drift out of their lane.
- Bluetooth Connectivity. Provides motorists a computerized hands-free solution to talking on the phone while driving.
- Side-Curtain Air Bags. Head-protecting air bags that deploy from the ceiling and inflate next to the vehicle's side windows when the vehicle is hit from the side.
- Electronic Stability Control. A system that applies brakes to individual wheels of a vehicle when instability is detected.
- Collision Mitigation Braking. A radar system that automatically applies the brakes when sensing that a crash is imminent.
- Tire-Pressure Monitoring. Warns drivers when a low tire or blow-out is detected.
A recent AutoTechCast poll conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. found that six of the top ten features consumers would most likely purchase in their next automobile were safety-related, suggesting the likelihood for demand to increase as more automakers incorporate advanced safety technologies into the design plans of upcoming automobiles.
"Dealers are optimistic to see car shoppers placing more importance on these life-saving technologies," said McInerney. "Increased consumer awareness regarding vehicle safety is an important step towards reducing the number of crashes on U.S. roads."
McInerney advised consumers to visit their local dealership for more information regarding the latest safety technologies available.
"Auto dealers are well-versed on the various safety technologies on the market today, and can help consumers select the safety features best suited for their lifestyles," added McInerney. "The dealership test drive remains the single best modus operandi by providing consumers an opportunity to evaluate the features in a real world driving experience."
AIADA represents the 11,000 American automobile dealerships that sell and service international nameplate brands Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, Maybach, Mazda, Mercedes, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Saab, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. These retailers have a positive economic impact both nationally and in the local communities they serve, providing for nearly 500,000 American jobs. Visit AIADA online at http://www.aiada.org/.