Federal officials say they will “aggressively accelerate” research on safety systems that automatically prevent drivers who are drunk or who don’t have their seatbelts buckled from operating cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a decision should be made before the end of the year on how to encourage automakers to include safety systems in cars that warn drivers ahead of a forward collision and can automatically brake to prevent a crash. Such systems are available on some high-end cars now. According to NHTSA, it’s responding to final traffic fatality data for 2012, which shows the first increase in deaths since 2005. There were 33,561 traffic deaths in 2012, which were 1,082 more fatalities than the previous year.
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