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.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Feb. 01, 2019  Self-Driving Cars
Feb. 17, 2017  Reducing Traffic Deaths
Jul. 25, 2014  Future of Cars
Feb. 06, 2009  Auto Industry's Future Updated
May 16, 2003  SUV Debate
Oct. 26, 2001  Auto Safety
Jan. 21, 2000  Auto Industry's Future
Jul. 25, 1997  Aggressive Driving
Oct. 16, 1992  U.S. Auto Industry
Apr. 27, 1990  Curbing Auto-Insurance Premiums
Jul. 14, 1989  Automakers Face Trouble Down the Road
Aug. 31, 1984  U.S. Auto Industry: Strategies for Survival
Feb. 23, 1979  Auto Research and Regulation
Apr. 28, 1978  Automotive Safety
May 10, 1974  Auto Industry in Flux
Apr. 18, 1973  Auto Emission Controls
Jan. 13, 1971  Auto Insurance Reform
Jul. 27, 1966  Fortunes of Auto Industry
Jun. 04, 1965  Automobile Safety
Jul. 10, 1964  Automobile Insurance and Traffic Safety
Nov. 19, 1958  Small Cars
Apr. 17, 1957  Better Driving
Jul. 01, 1954  Competition in Automobiles
Mar. 23, 1954  Automobile Liability Insurance
Dec. 24, 1952  Highway Accidents: Causes and Remedies
Aug. 21, 1945  Automobiles in the Postwar Economy
Sep. 02, 1938  The Market for Automobiles
Oct. 26, 1932  Outlook for the Automobile Industry
Dec. 10, 1929  Condition of the Automobile Industry
Jan. 30, 1928  Automobile Fatalities and Compulsory Insurance
Dec. 10, 1927  The Status of the Automobile Trade
Air Pollution
Motor Traffic Safety