Consumer Reports: Some car safety features not standard on all models

Advances in car technology are making cars safer than ever before, but not everyone has access to these lifesaving features. In fact less than half of new cars include forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking as standard equipment.

Consumer Reports investigates to find out why this technology isn't standard on every vehicle.

Did you know that 9 out of every 10 serious crashes are linked to driver error? Safety features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are proven to help avoid them.

But these safety features are only standard in 44-percent of 2019 model cars. Consumer Reports would like to see all cars have this life-saving technology.

"We think these technologies are so important that they factor into our ratings," said Consumer Reports Auto Editor Jeff Plungis. "We'd like more vehicles to have these safety features as standard equipment and unfortunately. the roll-out has been slow."

And Consumer Reports says the slow-to-market safety technology is all too common.

Take a look at seat belts. Consumer Reports tested them in 1956, but it took more than ten years for the government to require them on all cars, and since 1960, more than 300,000 lives have been saved. Even today, seat belt technology has evolved to make passengers safer.

"Two parts of the seatbelt that really work during a crash are the pretensioner and the load limiter," Plungis said. "The pretensioner pulls the belt tight during the crash so you don't fly forward and the load limiter lets out a little bit of slack as that's happening so that as you're flying into the seatbelt you don't get hurt by the belt."

Some cars even have inflatable seatbelts.

"All this great technology isn't standard on all cars and isn't always available in the back seat. We need to find ways to save lives. It shouldn't be a luxury option."

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