It’s a crisis years in the making: Vehicles are getting bigger and more dangerous to pedestrians, leading to a disturbing spike in deaths of people outside cars.
But under the federal government’s safety rating system, known as the New Car Assessment Program, almost every vehicle gets four- or five-star ratings. That’s because the system only takes into account the safety of those within cars, not outside them.
Thankfully, federal regulators can take steps to address this public health catastrophe. Proposed rules from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would begin rating cars based on their safety impacts to pedestrians. New technologies with the potential to reduce deaths and injuries will be subject to testing and even mandated.
This is welcome news. But the proposed rules are still inadequate. Vehicle design features like size and blind spots aren’t addressed, despite NHTSA’s own research showing the risks posed by large vehicles. The rules also fail to consider safety for those riding bicycles.
The proposed rules are open for public comment, and feedback can help NHTSA take full advantage of this opportunity. To learn more about what you can do, join NACTO, America Walks, the Towards Zero Foundation and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety on May 12th for a webinar to unpack what’s at stake and how you can get involved.
Register for “Vehicle Safety for Pedestrians 101” here.