The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a plan called “Vehicle Safety Rulemaking Priorities and Supporting Research: 2003-2006.”
From 2005-2006, NHTSA will place its emphasize on testing, analysis and potential rulemaking to address incompatibility in crashes between passenger cars and light trucks. Also on the agency’s agenda for the longer term are electronic stability control, roadway departure collision-avoidance systems, and driver distraction.
Commercial trucks are now using systems that utilize a small digital camera and sensors to help keep the truck from unintentionally changing lanes. If the driver moves outside the lane without putting on the turn signal, an alarm sounds. This safety technology will make its way into passenger vehicles and may even supplant telematics.
Shorter-term issues NHTSA will address include side-crash protection, occupant ejection prevention in rollovers, roof-crush resistance, headlamp glares, rear-center position seat belts, improved crash-test dummies, head restraints, and fuel-system integrity.