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Car owners support safety tech

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Car owners are overwhelmingly supportive of safety technology that could help improve their driving and reduce the number of car accidents, according to a new study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, and the Research and Innovation Technology Administration.

The study consisted of six driver clinics from August 2011 through January 2012 of drivers who participated in tests of car-to-car communications, where vehicles "talk" to one another using technology similar to Wi-Fi. Eighty-two percent of the study participants strongly agreed that they would like to have this technology available on their own personal cars to receive alerts such as of possible forward collisions or of other drivers moving into their car's blind spot. More than 90 percent believed that car safety features such as these would improve driving in real world situations. NHTSA believes these technologies could reduce injuries and deaths in car crashes and have the potential to avoid crashes entirely. Car accidents are a key reason for car insurance rates to climb.

The clinics are the first phase of the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program to gather information about how drivers interact with car safety technology. Eight automakers -- Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen -- and their subsidiary brands are working with NHTSA on this research, whose goal is to determine whether to include car-to-car communication in future autos.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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