"Automakers see great promise from their driver-assist technologies, and we are urging consumers to check them out, but the choice to purchase one or more belongs to consumers," said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the alliance.
"In this still-fragile economy, maintaining affordability of new vehicles remains a concern," she said. "Today, the average price of a new vehicle is $30,000, more than half the median income in the U.S."
But NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said the technologies can be added to cars relatively inexpensively.
"Some of this technology can be done for literally just a few dollars," he said. "I don't think we're talking about adding thousands of dollars to a car."
That's because many of the safety features rely on the same electronic sensors and computers.
"While it sounds like a lot of items, basically you are taking advantage of the sophisticated electronics in all modern automobiles," Ditlow said.
This year's most-wanted list also includes a recommendation that states and regulators ban nonessential use of cellphones and other distracting portable electronic devices by operators across all modes of transportation — cars and trucks, planes, trains and vessels.
The board said it has investigated numerous accidents and incidents in which operators were so engrossed in their devices that they lost awareness of their situation. As part of the recommendation, the board urged device manufacturers to perfect technology that disables cellphones and other devices when they are within reach of an operator while the car, truck, plane, train or vessel is in operation.
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National Transportation Safety Board: http://www.ntsb.gov
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