Thanks to Ralph Nader!
On this Thanksgiving Day, the NY Times published an excellent and timely article on auto safety.
“50 Years Ago, “Unsafe At Any Speed” Shook the Auto World notes:“On Nov. 30, 1965, “Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile” was published. The first sentence did not mince words: “For over half a century the automobile has brought death, injury and the most inestimable sorrow and deprivation to millions of people.” …. “If you just simply focus on things like the death toll, clearly the act has been a success,” said Clarence M. Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, which was founded in 1970 by Mr. Nader and Consumers Union, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.” Seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/automobiles/50-years-ago-unsafe-at-any-speed-shook-the-auto-world.html
Today, even NHTSA, although a largely captive agency,recognizes the statistics of lives saved by its standards and programs over the years.“Lives saved from 1960 to 2012: Safety technologies saved an estimated 613,501 lives from 1960 through 2012″ See p. xix athttp://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812069.pdf
Thanks to Ralph Nader, Joan Claybrook, Clarence Ditlow and all the people they inspired to save lives and prevent serious injuries over the past 5 decades! Seehttp://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/Trial_2015_09Sept_AmmonsreviewofLemov.pdf
Yet there is much more to do. Currently in the U.S., Americans lose about 100 lives, suffer about 400 serious injuries, and losses valued by DOT at about $2 Billion every average day due to injuries in autos.
With all three branches of the Federal government in varying degrees of corporate captivity, continuing progress in advancing safety is proving difficult.
At a time in history when we have more safety technologies and safety science than ever before, we still lack even a national Vision Zero goal for auto deaths and serious injuries.