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Automobile Safety

June 4, 1965

Report Outline
Stress on Safer Cars for Safer Driving
Auto Exhaust Fumes and Air Pollution
Debate Over What Causes Car Accidents

Stress on Safer Cars for Safer Driving

Call for Safer Cars to Curb Highway Carnage

Fifty thousand americans will lose their lives in automobile accidents this year—almost as many as were killed in World War I. About 1.8 million drivers, passengers, and pedestrians will be injured—slightly more than the number of American fighting men injured in all the wars of the 20th century. The automobile is now the fourth leading cause of death in the population as a whole, and the primary cause among persons 5–29 years of age. The economic toll of traffic accidents is no less appalling; last year, it came to $8.2 billion in medical bills, property damage, insurance claims, and work-days lost.

Safety experts and officials at every level of government have been searching for years for a way to end the carnage on the highways. To date, they have concerned themselves mainly with safer roads and safer drivers. Now their attention is shifting toward safer automobiles. The idea is not to design a crash-proof car, but to build one that will provide maximum protection for its occupants in case of accident.

The private car is the only vehicle not subject to federal safety regulation. Ships, aircraft, railroad rolling stock, and interstate trucks and buses must meet certain design and performance standards prescribed by Washington; automobile safety, on the other hand, is determined almost solely by Detroit.

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Jul. 27, 1966  Fortunes of Auto Industry
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Jul. 10, 1964  Automobile Insurance and Traffic Safety
Nov. 19, 1958  Small Cars
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Jul. 01, 1954  Competition in Automobiles
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Dec. 24, 1952  Highway Accidents: Causes and Remedies
Aug. 21, 1945  Automobiles in the Postwar Economy
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Dec. 10, 1927  The Status of the Automobile Trade
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Air Pollution
Motor Traffic Safety
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