ROANOKE, Va. – Advances in automotive technology are making cars safer than ever before, but not everyone has access to these lifesaving features.
In fact, statistics show nine 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% 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. We'd like more vehicles to have these safety features as standard equipment and unfortunately, the rollout has been slow," said Jeff Plungis, Consumer Reports auto editor.
Consumer Reports says 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. Since 1960, more than 300,000 lives have been saved because of them.
Even today, seat belt technology has evolved to make passengers safer.
"Two parts of the seat belt that really work during a crash are the pre-tensioner and the limiter. The pre-tensioner 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 seat belt you don't get hurt by the belt," Plungis said. "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."