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Automatic emergency braking rule would save lives, Consumer Reports says

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Reports today made the following statement about the announcement of a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The proposed rule would require all new passenger vehicles to come equipped with automatic emergency braking systems that can effectively prevent or mitigate frontal crashes with cars and pedestrians—including at higher speeds and at night.

William Wallace, Consumer Reports’ associate director of safety policy, said, “This strong rule would save lives, prevent costly crashes, and dramatically raise the bar for safety on our roads. It’s desperately needed at a time when more than 100 people in the U.S. die in vehicle crashes every single day. This has been a long time coming, and auto safety advocates have been calling for this for years—but this proposal meets the moment. ”

“For a vehicle to be named one of Consumer Reports’ top picks, it has to come with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection as standard equipment, and the braking system has to operate at highway speeds. We’ve seen an increase each year in the number of vehicles that offer the technology, but ultimately these federal requirements would ensure every new car comes with this proven safety feature—without consumers being forced to pay extra for an expensive option package. In this case, NHTSA’s proposal shows the agency also recognizes just how critical it is for these systems to protect as many people as possible, whether during the day or at night.

“This is the first major vehicle safety standard that NHTSA has proposed in at least six years.  It’s required under the 2021 infrastructure law, and it’s not the only rule that NHTSA has to develop under that law. We’re hoping this is the first of several strong proposals we’ll see coming from NHTSA soon to protect people’s lives and make it less likely they face the terrible physical and economic toll of a car wreck,” Wallace said.


Contact: David Butler, david.butler@consumer.org, 202-579-7935 (mobile/text)

About Consumer Reports

Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports (CR) is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that works with consumers to create a fair and just marketplace. Known for its rigorous testing and ratings of products, CR advocates for laws and company practices that put consumers first. CR is dedicated to amplifying the voices of consumers to promote safety, digital rights, financial fairness, and sustainability. The organization surveys millions of Americans every year, reports extensively on the challenges and opportunities for today’s consumers, and provides ad-free content and tools to 6 million members across the U.S.