Global Automakers

Automakers Credit Safety Technologies with Decline in Highway Deaths

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September 9, 2010

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. (AIAM) is encouraged by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announcement today that traffic deaths on U.S. Highways are at their lowest level in 60 years, decreasing 9.7 percent in 2009.

"Automakers have invested billions of dollars into saving lives by researching, creating and deploying advanced safety features on their vehicles," said Michael J. Stanton, president and CEO of AIAM. "That investment continues as automakers develop the next generation of safety technology and introduce innovations such as lane-departure warning and forward collision mitigation systems."

One technology that is becoming more widely available in the vehicle fleet is electronic stability control, or ESC, which helps drivers maintain control and avoid hazards. In advance of federal regulations to require ESC, AIAM member companies offer more than 150 models with this technology.

"While technology has saved countless lives, we must acknowledge the impact of safe driving behavior, including increased safety belt use and reduced drunk and distracted driving," said Stanton. “Distracted driving is a major concern and AIAM supports restrictions on the use of hand-held electronic devices for phone calls and text messaging by drivers while operating motor vehicles.”

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