The announcement followed a recent report by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program. The report showed that automatic brakes may help drivers reduce their risk of automotive crashes by at least 38 percent.
Australia is not the first country to realize the importance of automatic brakes in road safety. The National Transportation Safety Board in the United States is also reported to be pressuring the American government to make the installation of automatic brakes a requirement.
The NTSB suggests that automatic brakes should become a standard safety feature in all vehicles. The brakes would join a list of other regulated safety features like seatbelts airbags and tires.
Currently, automatic brakes are a feature found only on expensive vehicles. Only four out of 684 models of passenger vehicle in the United States featured automatic brakes as a standard feature.
Transportation safety regulators in Australia say that the number of vehicle crashes in Australia is unnecessary. While other safety features in vehicles protect drivers in an accident, implementing automatic brakes could prevent some accidents all together.
Auto makers in America have rejected these ideas. Many manufacturers maintain that automatic brakes should remain the vehicle owner’s choice. Some also suggest that including this safety feature would have an impact on the price of the vehicles.
A typical automotive manufacturer will make most of its profit off of the packages that buyers add on to their vehicles. Buyers will pay extra for features like an automatic transmission in addition to luxury and aesthetic packages.
The requirement to add this additional safety feature will eat into the profits gained when a customer chooses to include an additional safety package on their car.
The new campaign to encourage these new safety features is referred to as “Avoid the Crash, Avoid the Trauma.”
However, governments, manufacturers and drivers have suggested that mandating additional safety features will not prevent the reckless behavior that precipitates many automotive crashes.