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Accident, Injury Prevention Features still not Standard on all Passenger Vehicles

Electronic stability control, side impact airbags, neck restraint systems – these are just some of the high tech, innovative, auto safety features that manufacturers have developed and improvised to near perfection in recent years, in an effort to reduce the number of car accidents and injuries caused by vehicle collisions. Although these are becoming popular with car buyers, they are far from standard on all passenger cars, which means that motorists who wish to have these features in their vehicles should be prepared to shell out extra dollars for them.

The New York Times has this story on how some of the most ballyhooed car safety features continued to be optional on several car models. Electronic stability control (ESC) systems are one of the most impressive new auto safety technologies to make it out of R&D facilities in recent years. The system makes use of computerized sensors that can tell when a car is in danger of losing grip of the road. When a potential loss of traction is detected, the system automatically applies the brakes so there is no loss of control. Cars may be especially prone to skidding or loss of control when they turn at high speeds, or accelerate or brake suddenly. Loss of control in such instances can cause the car to roll over, exposing occupants to serious injuries. With an ESC system working in your car, the risk of an accident is dramatically reduced.

ESC systems will be standard on all vehicles by 2012. They are currently very popular with buyers who will pay extra for an ESC system if it is not included as part of a standard features package. However, in times of a recession, paying extra, sometimes up to $ 2,000 extra for a package that includes an ESC system may not be in every buyer’s budget. In times of economic turmoil, it’s more important than ever that automakers design their cars with a view to minimizing accidents and injuries that take a heavy economic toll. Like David Champion who is the senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports says, manufacturers shouldn’t be making it more expensive for buyers to access proven safety gear like ESC systems or side impact airbags.

Automakers are bound by a number of factors when they introduce combinations of features in new models, and the cost of production does play a huge part. It’s cheaper to produce cars with combinations of limited features that offer buyers lesser variety in features, but help to control manufacturing costs.

Driving a car that’s safe and equipped with all safety gear that will protect you and your family from an accident and minimize the risk of severe injuries in the event of a crash, should not be something that depends on your purchasing power. Times are tough, and as Georgia car accident lawyers who regularly represent victims of serious accident related injuries, we believe consumers shouldn’t have to choose between safety and their budget.