Last Week in Car Safety News – the week ending 13 December is providing you with easily digestible wrap-ups of car safety news weekly in a quick synopsis of the major stories dealing with car safety issues. Find out the latest recalls, scandals, safety improvements or concerns quickly and easily right here.

NHTSA Gives Ratings a Major Overhaul

Crash TestThe US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing a major overhaul to how their 5 Star Ratings are given out. They plan to include driverless technologies by 2019 as a major component of their safety ratings to achieve a 5 Star rating. These ratings often available on luxury models are only available on a few mid-level sedans and usually only at the top trim levels. The new ratings plan is hoping to push manufacturers of all levels to accept these safety features as standard on any model.

These safety features include lane departure warnings, auto brake to help prevent forward collisions and blind spot monitoring all that have been proven to reduce accident severity and prevalence. The NHTSA is hoping to drastic ally reduce the 32,000 people who die on US roadways every year.

IIHS 2016 Ratings are out, so are US Auto makers

Top Safety Pick - IIHSIf you are looking for a Top Safety Pick or TSP Plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US, you may have to consider only buying from a foreign manufacturer. The TSP Plus rating, one that takes into account new driverless safety technologies was handed out to only 48 vehicles and only 2 were given to a US-based auto-maker. The only sedan to make the list was the Chrysler 200 from the US, while the newly redesigned F150 pickup truck was also awarded top honors. The top rating TSP Plus this year required vehicles to pass the small front overlap crash test and must have crash avoidance technologies such as auto braking and are the reasons why so many vehicles are not attaining this top honor. The IIHS does not rate every vehicle in every line up, but does rate the most popular and a cross-section.

Siren to Wake Sleepy Drivers

Sleepy DriversThe UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) is behind an interesting new safety feature that is trained on the driver instead of on the road like most new safety features for cars. This new safety technology includes an inward facing camera to denote cranial position of the driver. Everyone that has driven for a long stretch on an empty highway at night realizes the danger of driver fatigue due to the low lighting, soothing music and conveniences like cruise control. This new technology would notice a droopy head and possibly set off a siren alarm, a rumble seat or a combination of both to alert the driver of their sleepiness. The European Commission is also looking at it as a way to alert distracted drivers that may be using a mobile device and looking down at it, setting off an alarm. The EC wants the alarm implemented in vehicles in next couple of years.

These are largest stories in car safety for the week ending 13 December 2015.

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