October 01, 2020 Press Release

Auto Innovators Statement on FARS 2019 Statistics

Statement Attributable to Auto Innovators President and CEO John Bozzella:

Our members are committed to safer, smarter, and cleaner transportation, and these figures demonstrate the need for continued policies that support safety innovations for the traveling public.

While we are pleased to see 2019’s fatality rate drop to a five-year low, this year’s unexpected uptick in motor vehicle fatality rates, largely attributed to the impacts of COVID-19 and driver behavior changes, is troubling. We need to carefully analyze these statistics to understand how motorists and other stakeholders can restore the progress we have made in recent years to reduce roadway fatalities.

More than 90 percent of crashes are attributed to driver error, and today’s numbers underscore the importance of removing barriers to new safety technologies. That includes the on-going work by Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation to modernize outdated regulations, establish a federal framework to facilitate investment and deployment of life-saving automated vehicle technologies and ensuring that the entire 5.9 GHz Safety Spectrum band is preserved. The Safety Spectrum will enable the Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) technologies that can help save lives.