Policymakers have struggled for years to find ways to reduce the toll of death and injury from motor vehicle accidents. Despite more modern highways, better automobiles, stricter law enforcement, and intensive safe driving campaigns, auto accidents remain a leading cause of death and disabling injury, especially among young people. In recent years, the federal government's traffic safety effort has included a special search for technology that will protect motorists from the consequences of a collision. As a result, we now have padded dashboards, collapsible steering columns, and seatbelts. However, despite the strong endorsement of safety experts and fifteen years of extensive study and debate, the air bag--widely regarded as potentially the most effective passive restraint system yet devised--is still not available to most American motorists. The author argues that the controversial air bag saga demonstrates a serious failure of the regulatory system. Despite a clear legislative mandate, federal highway safety officials have been unable or unwilling, in this instance, to reach a timely policy decision involving innovative technology.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    National Academy of Sciences

    2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20418
  • Authors:
    • Tolchin, S J
  • Publication Date: 1984

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00389934
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-037 796
  • Files: HSL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1985 12:00AM