A casual observer overwhelmed earlier this year with media tales of runaway Toyotas and more recently of drivers apparently incapable of focusing on actually driving when more pressing needs--like texting--are at hand, might think that getting from point A to point B entails more and more risk.
Yesterday, NHSTA pointed out that this is actually not the case. Fatalities reportedly dropped last year--even though the miles driven increased.
This is clearly good news, and the Honorable Ray Lahood--clearly a keen politician--took pains to remind us that the DOT is "laser-focused" on their top priority: safety. Reassuringly, he apparently "will not rest" until vehicles are even safer.
Certainly, taking credit for good news is a popular pastime, but it seems to me we should stand back and give at least some of the credit for this to the automakers. Vehicles today offer an incredible array of safety features--from ABS to traction control, seat belts, parking sensors and of course, a surfeit of airbags.
And consumers have played their part by actually buying vehicles that offered these features.
But can driving become safer still? Laser cruise control, self parking, lane change warning and other technologies are going mainstream, so it would sure seem likely.