This article focuses on the question: why, if we have the scientific knowledge to eliminate 80% of the present auto fatalities, do we not do so? The answer is framed in terms of 2 models of hazard and hazard control which are illustrated and described. Each model envisions stages of hazard development over time, starting with early and fundamental causes, continuing to intermediate stages, and leading finally to experienced consequences. The models define the structure of hazard causality and the range of control actions available to managers. The article looks into the history of auto hazard management in an effort to understand why extensive scientific knowledge has not led to greater success in reducing fatalities and injuries. The federal involvement in highway safety is considered as well as the 1966 safety acts. Problems associated with the Highway Safety Act of 1966 are discussed including the standards, costs, and benefits. The DOT publication, the National Safety Needs Report is discussed. The latter publication notes the need for mandatory seat belt use, as well as the low cost-effectiveness of the periodic motor vehicle inspection. Comments are also made on the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. DOT standards relating to passive restraints are discussed. Airbags and other passive restraints could save 12,000 to 13,000 lives annually. Despite this, the implementation of this standard has been frustrated. The failure of the air brake standard is also discussed. Four major conclusions of this study of the problem of why the high fatalities and injuries statistics are tolerated are presented. Suggestions for the future are presented which are based on the existing framework of legislation.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Scientists' Institute for Public Information

    438 North Skinker Boulevard
    St Louis, MO  United States  63130
  • Authors:
    • Bick, T
    • Hohenemser, C
    • KATES, R
  • Publication Date: 1979-3

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 6
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00300823
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 17 1979 12:00AM