Contact federal safety rulemakers: U.S. has the opportunity to include pedestrians, bicyclists in motor vehicle crash safety testing

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

Earlier this year several League staff members met with staff from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) at the urging of Champe Burnley, the Executive Director of the Virginia Bicycle Federation, a League member organization. Champe has been involved in DriveSmartVA, a statewide group founded to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries by insurance companies.

Coming out of that meeting, one of the most interesting topics we discussed was how far behind the United States was in testing new vehicles for pedestrian and bicyclist safety. In 2018, the European Union began testing new cars with Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) systems for their ability to avoid or mitigate crashes with bicyclists – but we were told that neither the IIHS nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) were likely to have such testing for years. . . .

NHTSA is currently accepting comments about how the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) should be updated. The League’s comments focus on the potential benefits of AEB systems and how they are already tested in other countries. You can read our comments here. Please consider taking action and telling NHTSA that the United States must be a leader in traffic safety once again – starting by matching, if not exceeding, the testing standards of peer countries. Voice your opinion and prod NHTSA to modernize new car testing by visiting this page:

MoBikeFed comment: It is unfortunate that the U.S. is so behind in testing and making improvements in crash safety for people who walk and bicycle. Please take a minute or two and submit a comment in support of better testing.

We have been involved in discussions on this topic with our peer groups across the country and with national bicycle and pedestrian groups. There is some real opportunity for improvement in safety by taking this approach.