2016 - Traveling Three Lanes ON THE ROAD TO ZERO

In 2016, NHTSA moved forward in our three lanes on the Road to Zero to save lives across America:


While technology will have an increasingly important role in saving lives in the future, human choices and driver error continue to be critical factors in 94 percent of all crashes today. Thousands of people still die each year because they were drowsy, distracted or impaired while driving.

These three lanes address the wide range of factors involved in making roads safer, and they all converge on a single goal: reaching a future when there are zero deaths on America’s roads. This brief report highlights progress in these three key areas and others that are essential to helping Americans drive, ride, and walk safely.

Proactive Vehicle Safety

Proactive Safety Principles:

Finalized an historic agreement with automakers on a set of broad-ranging actions to help make our roads safer by implementing proactive efforts to address vehicle defects, cybersecurity, and data-sharing.
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Automobile/Aviation Safety Summit:

Brought together leaders from the aviation and automotive industries at the U.S. Department of Transportation to discuss how safety lessons from aviation can be applied to the auto industry.
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Improving Efforts to Identify Defects:

Restructured the investigative process in the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) to incorporate a risk-based methodology and to better utilize the expertise and resources within ODI. Continued to leverage Consent Order activity and incorporate advanced analytical tools to further enhance the agency’s ability to identify safety-related issues.

Safe Cars Save Lives:

Launched a new public awareness campaign called Safe Cars Save Lives that urges consumers to check for open recalls at least twice a year and to get their vehicles fixed as soon as possible.
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Safe Cars Save Lives Bus Tour:

Launched the Safe Cars Save Lives bus tour, which traveled to nine cities from Florida to Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas in August to spread the word about vehicle and passenger safety. A team of experts were deployed to each stop to teach motorists about recalls, tires, car seats and heatstroke.
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"Every single death on our roadways is a tragedy. We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal. It is the only acceptable goal."

- NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark R. Rosekind

Advanced Safety Technologies

Federal Automated Vehicles Policy:

Issued Federal policy for automated vehicles, laying a path for the safe testing and deployment of new auto technologies that have enormous potential for improving safety and mobility for Americans on the road. The policy sets a proactive approach to providing safety assurance and facilitating innovation.
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Strengthening Vehicle Cybersecurity:

Released proposed guidance for improving motor vehicle cybersecurity with best practices that help to protect against breaches and other security threats that can put motor vehicle safety at risk.
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Automatic Emergency Braking:

Announced an historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars by 2022.
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Motorcoach and Large Bus Safety Standards:

Proposed a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that will help reduce fatalities and injuries in motorcoach and large-bus crashes by mitigating occupant ejection.
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Technology to Prevent Drunk Driving:

Accelerated efforts to advance the deployment of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, which is a collaborative research partnership between the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), representing 17 automobile manufacturers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Heavy-Vehicle Speed Limiters:

Proposed a regulation, along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on U.S. roadways, and requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed, a safety measure that could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year.
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Quiet Car Rule:

Added a sound requirement for all newly manufactured hybrid and electric light-duty vehicles to help protect pedestrians. The new Federal safety standard will help pedestrians who are blind, have low vision, and other pedestrians detect the presence, direction and location of these vehicles when they are traveling at low speeds. The rule will help prevent about 2,400 pedestrian injuries each year once all hybrid and electric vehicles are properly equipped.
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Advanced Connected Vehicle Technology:

Issued a proposed rule that would advance the deployment of connected vehicle technologies throughout the U.S. light-vehicle fleet by enabling vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles. This will support new crash-avoidance applications that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles “talk” to each other.
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Addressing Human Factors

Road to Zero Coalition:

Joined with the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the National Safety Council to launch the Road to Zero Coalition, with the goal to end fatalities on the Nation's roads within the next 30 years.
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Driving Behavioral Change in Traffic Safety Summits:

Held a series of six summits around the country and in Washington, DC, to seek out new partners and identify innovative strategies in the effort to reduce traffic fatalities. These summits brought experts together from a wide range of disciplines to identify promising strategies from other fields that could also be applied to traffic injury prevention.
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Advancing Safety in the States:

Issued an interim final rule to support State highway safety offices, and completed phase 1 of Information Technology modernization for State grant programs. Launched a new tool that allows States to track progress made in their highway safety programs.

Improving Safety Data:

Reached significant milestones in NHTSA’s Data Modernization Project to greatly enhance the agency’s ability to collect and disseminate useful crash and vehicle information. This work included: collecting data for the new Crash Reporting Sampling System and the Crash Investigation Sampling System; beginning the electronic transfer of data from six states; launching the new CrashStats data product; expanding vPIC; and modernizing the State Traffic Safety Information (STSI).

Driver Distraction Guidelines

Proposed Phase 2 Driver Distraction Guidelines to encourage portable and aftermarket electronic device developers to design products that reduce the potential for driver distraction. The voluntary guidelines encourage manufacturers to implement features such as pairing, where a portable device is linked to a vehicle’s infotainment system, as well as driver mode, to reduce distractions while driving.
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Other Key Achievements

Final Heavy-Duty Truck Fuel Economy Rule:

Finalized standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation.
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Fuel Cell/Hybrid Rule:

Issued a notice of proposed rulemaking related to electrical safety requirements for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and “mild hybrid” vehicles that will enable innovative powertrain technologies.
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Relaunch of NHTSA.gov:

Launched the newly redesigned NHTSA.gov to dramatically improve the agency’s efforts to reach the American people with the news and information consumers need in order to stay safe and protect their families and loved ones on the road.