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Welcome to Vegas Lawyer. This site is for people who were hurt in Nevada. Contact us for a free consultation. You may want to read the Las Vegas Personal Injury Law introduction on our home page. Also, you can get an overview of other claims like Wrongful Death, Auto Accidents, Slip & Fall, and Products Liability before you explore the Article below.

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  • Federal Outdoor Impact Laboratory
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  • NHTSA and Automobile Safety


  • NHTSA and Automobile Safety

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is charged with reducing deaths, injuries, and economic losses from motor vehicle crashes. Motor vehicle travel is the primary means of transportation in the United States, and traffic fatalities account for more than 90 per cent of transportation-related fatalities. Among many other activities for fulfilling this mission, NHTSA conducts vehicle crash tests and provides a one-to-five star rating on each vehicle's crashworthiness in frontal collisions. These crash tests measure a variety of factors affecting passenger safety in the event of a crash; the ratings of one star (worst) to five stars (best) again represent a reduction of complex data to a single rating number. Because of the design of the crash tests, ratings are meaningful only when comparing vehicles in the same weight class.

    Vehicle crashworthiness is not, however, a measure of the likelihood that a vehicle will be involved in an accident, which is related both to vehicle crash avoidance features and, most importantly, to driver behavior. Thus, for automobiles, as in aviation, safety assessment is multidimensional, and cannot be fully addressed with a single measure. Some interested parties, including Congress, felt that the crashworthiness information provided by NHTSA was not comprehensive enough to fully assess overall vehicle safety. For this reason, Congress requested that the National Academy of Sciences conduct an independent study of consumer information needs related to automobile safety. The resulting study "would broadly examine motor vehicle consumer safety information needs and the most cost-effective methods of communicating this information to the public." (TRB, 1996) Ratings and other information provided by NHTSA assist consumers in including safety as a factor in the car purchase decision-making process. This is especially important for automobile safety and the reduction of motor vehicle casualties because most drivers believe themselves to be of above average driving ability, and because it is difficult to get drivers to change their driving behavior for safety reasons. (TRB 1996) Therefore, NHTSA ratings of vehicle safety can have the effect of raising the average crashworthiness of the nation's auto fleet, directly through consumer education and indirectly through incentives to producers to improve product quality. NHTSA provides information to the public through a variety of reports, brochures, and releases, many of which are summarized by intermediaries in the private sector. NHTSA also uses the internet for news releases.

    The study found that although consumer information about automobile safety characteristics is available, it is not always timely, accessible, or easily interpreted. The study recommends public dissemination of more explicit and detailed information on crashworthiness, occupant restraint systems, and crash avoidance features as well as frank discussion of the uncertainties associated with test results on these subjects. The long term goal of establishing a summary measure of vehicle safety that includes both vehicle crashworthiness and vehicle crash avoidance features is a difficult one, due to the uncertainties of present knowledge. The study strongly endorses research efforts that examine the feasibility of constructing a single overall measure that combines the relative importance of vehicle crashworthiness and crash avoidance features. Research into consumer decision making and the role of safety information in consumer decisions is also proposed.

    This information came from a
    FAA online article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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