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Shapiro & Appleton

'Panic Button' in Cars Might Save Lives

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In a world of cruise control, keyless entry and near-silent electric car engines, it can be more confusing than ever to climb behind the wheel. Though new features are frequently touted as the newest and best, many technologies can complicate emergency procedures for drivers. In many recent car accidents, drivers have felt overwhelmed by the amount of technology available to them.

Recognzing this, the 
National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has proposed standardizing the way drivers turn their vehicles' engines on and off. Pushing the new "panic button" would cut off the engine after one-half second. The agency hopes adding the engine shutoff button would prevent confusion on how to stop eany vehicle, especially for people who rent  cars or experience accidents or emergencies in vehicles they have just purchased.

Shutoff buttons already exist in many Ford, Chevy, Lexus and Mercedes vehicles, but all models work slightly differently. The standardization NHTSA calls for would eliminate a lot of the panicked thinking during emergencies. Just as lawmakers in the 1980s worked to make seat belts a standard feature in all vehicles, this panic button should be a feature in every car on the road.

CID


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