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Vehicular ad hoc networks play a critical role in enabling important active safety applications such as cooperative collision warning. These active safety applications rely on continuous broadcast of self-information by all vehicles, which allows each vehicle to track all its neighboring cars in real time. The most pressing challenge in such safety-driven communication is to maintain acceptable tracking accuracy while avoiding congestion in the shared channel. In this article we propose a transmission control protocol that adapts communication rate and power based on the dynamics of a vehicular network and safety-driven tracking process. The proposed solution uses a closed-loop control concept and accounts for wireless channel unreliability. Simulation results confirm that if packet generation rate and associated transmission power for safety messages are adjusted in an on-demand and adaptive fashion, robust tracking is possible under various traffic conditions.