Vehicle crash safety has come a long way since 1961, when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety began studying deaths that occur in motor vehicles. Improving how vehicles are manufactured has made a tremendous difference in decreasing Asheville car accidents and elsewhere throughout the country.
North Carolina car accident attorneys know that car safety is important, but there is no method more full-proof to reducing crash deaths and injuries than a driver using caution on roadways. Unsafe drivers are negligent in their oath to be a good driver and should compensate for damages when they cause a car crash.
Adrian Lund, President of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), recently gave a presentation on the progress we have made in the last 50 years and where we go from here at the Edmunds’ Safety Conference in Washington, DC.
-In 1961, the motor vehicle crash death rate was 49.2 per billion miles traveled on roadways. In 1966, the crash death rate reached an all-time high of 55 deaths per billion miles of travel. In 2009, the death rate fell to 11.3 deaths per billion miles traveled.
-In 1966, Congress of the National Highway Safety Bureau was formed, in which we now refer to as National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
-In 1967 and 1968, the first safety standards were issued for motor vehicles.
-Seat belt laws became effective from state to state starting in the mid-1980s.
-Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving started originating in the mid-1980s, which was the start of the anti-drunk driving revolution. The goal was to increase awareness about driving under the influence and to get drunk drivers off the streets and highways by executing stricter laws from state to state.
-The mid-1990s improved teen driver crash statistics with the implementation of graduated licensing laws.
-Slower speed zones and economic downturns are among many other factors that have played a role in lowering fatality rates over the years.
It is believed that improving vehicle safety is one of the best movements made in decreasing fatality rates and crash statistics throughout the country. Making safety belts and energy-absorbing steering columns standard in vehicles have helped tremendously, as well as installing airbags throughout vehicles for occupant protection.
Safercar.gov has made it possible for consumers to make an informed decision on purchasing a car based on crash test results and overall safety. Public knowledge of vehicle crash-worthiness has given consumers some relief in knowing what vehicles are the safest to drive, especially if small children are riding in the car.
Where do we go from here? According to the IIHS, improving technology continues to be a top priority. Technology will continue to take us into the future, but it will never replace basic driving skills. No amount of technology can replace safe driving behavior on North Carolina roadways.
Contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. if you have been injured in a North or South Carolina car accident. Call 1-800-887-1965 today to make an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Defective Vehicles Increase Risk of North Carolina Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 15, 2011
Toyota Faces Record Fines for Vehicle Defects, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 29, 2010