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A safer vehicle fleet would avoid over 50,000 accidents per  year

“A vehicle fleet fitted with the latest advancements in terms of safety and driving aids would prevent over 50,000 accidents per year, 850 deaths and 4,500 hospitalized persons, and a saving of around 4,300 million Euros in public expenses”. This was emphasized today by Fundación MAPFRE’S Director of Accident Prevention and Highway Safety, on hearing the proposal by the European Commission this Thursday for updating the general vehicle safety regulations.

According to the expert on highway safety «the new legislation is wonderful news for everybody, and is the first step to make manufacturers included ADAS as standard equipment in their vehicles such as systems to detect collision risks with pedestrians and cyclists, with the capability of warning drivers in real time or braking the vehicle automatically, which could avoid 7,500 victims on roads and in cities in Spain”.

Jesus Monclús made these statements within the framework of the workshop on drugs and driving which was organized by the Foundation today at its headquarters in Madrid, where a Seat 600 was on display, a vehicle which, according to the Director of Accident Prevention and Highway Safety, had a sale price of the equivalent of 19,000 euros in Spain in 1957 (65,000 pesetas at the time), weighing in at 600 kilos, almost half the weight of a similar vehicle today.

The Foundation fitted some of the cutting-edge technologies to this car, such as front radars, rear cameras and parking sensors, to show people that if the vehicles back in those days had been as safe as today’s cars, around half of the 250,000 Spanish people who have lost their lives since then, i.e. 125,000 drivers, would have survived.

Following on, Jesús Monclus presented a report that analyzes the different advanced driver assistance systems in different vehicle segments, and highlighted that more and more vehicles now feature these advanced driving aids (ADAS), «a fact that undoubtedly leads to greater safety for Spanish drivers».

The study focuses on seven of the biggest selling models that have been launched since the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018, such as the Seat Ibiza, Opel Insignia, Ford Fiesta and Nissan Micra, among others. The main conclusion is that all of them feature active and passive safety systems, such as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and detection of vehicles in the blind spot, «all of which are fundamental to avoid road traffic accidents», and also other systems, such as parking aids «much less common in vehicles that were sold before 2015».

The document also emphasizes that despite the E-call system since January 2018 (an emergency call system), it is mandatory for new endorsements (not new registrations) and is currently not available as an optional extra in many utility vehicles, urban SUV or compact cars.

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