In an interview, Joan Claybrook of NHTSA cites crash tests performed on foreign and domestic mass production vehicles and on NHTSA "safe" vehicle prototypes to take the American automobile industry to task for not utilizing already invented safety devices and for believing that safety has no market value. In recent crash tests, American cars have held up better than their foreign counterparts, an advantage American automakers have generally failed so far to capitalize on in their advertising. A prototype vehicle (equipped with air bags, soft bumpers, run-flat tires, antiskid brakes, and a radar warning system to forestall rear-end collisions) provides protection from serious injuries during 50 mph impacts while maintaining good fuel economy (33 mpg) and meeting all EPA emission standards. None of the car's principal safety features have been incorporated in mass produced vehicles. Claybrook warns that "the automakers" view that safety has no market value could prove to be just as wrong as their attitude a year or two ago toward fuel efficiency. Meanwhile, Minicars, Inc., which made the NHTSA prototype, plans to mass produce it, beginning in 1984.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    American University

    Development Education and Training Research Institute
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Smith, R J
  • Publication Date: 1981-1

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 150-152
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00330419
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-031 109
  • Files: HSL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 15 1983 12:00AM