Car Safety Ratings May Get Boost for Driver-Assistance Technology

The U.S. government’s annual safety ratings of cars may soon give them credit for having driver-assistance systems, the latest indication that the once-futuristic technology is becoming mainstream.

The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed on Thursday that lane-keeping support, automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and blind spot intervention be incorporated into its Five-Star Safety Ratings program for new cars.

The move comes on the heels of the department’s release of data Wednesday showing 38,824 people died in traffic crashes nationwide in 2020. The agency said it marked the highest number of fatalities since 2007.

“There’s a crisis on America’s roadways,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “These important changes will help save lives on our roadways by ensuring that consumers have the information they need about the latest safety technologies when they buy a new vehicle.”