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Automakers Urged To Develop More Affordable Safety Technology

Multiple news agencies have indicated that certain car safety features may not be available to most Americans due to the high costs associated with these technologies.

The reports indicate that recent technologies unveiled by Toyota added to the redesigned Lexus LS460 could end up costing $70,000 to the consumer. The added safety feature was designed to emit an infrared beam that would provide the driver with an extra view of the road, which uses a radar, high definition cameras and other features that would detect when the vehicle is close to hitting another car. As soon as the system detects an object, pedestrian or vehicle, it automatically applies pressure on the brake system. The steering may also be tightened as soon as the system detects the obstacle in order to make it easier for the driver to avoid the collision.

This is part of a safety package that costs an extra $6,500 to the consumer willing to drive a safer car.

According to experts, this trend may increase the demand for the designing and engineering of features that could make vehicles much safer but at a much higher cost, which would make consumers who are not able to afford the high costs of pricey safety features vulnerable. Before regulators require certain car safety features, automakers are launching features that could make accidents less likely, which is what happened with airbags and electronic stability control.

In most cases, safety sells. Specialists warn that, in spite of that fact, consumers may not be able to afford expensive safety features that have moved beyond keeping the driver safe when a crash occurs. This new wave of auto safety technologies has increased the price of the devices developed to avoid collisions altogether, which has made it more difficult for drivers on a budget to drive safer vehicles.

According to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, auto safety technology should not only be available for those who can afford it.
Data shows that a third of all fatal crashes could be prevented if all vehicles involved had been equipped with forward collision warning systems, blind spot detection, lane departure warning or adaptive headlights.

Hopefully, automakers will develop auto safety technology that will make cars affordable and safe for all and not just for those who are willing to pay extra for high-tech safety features.

If you would like to read more about this story and how these new technologies can change the way we drive, click here.

About the Author
The Vachon Law Firm is based in Southern California and focuses exclusively on consumer protection litigation.