CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF SAFETY CARS

In 1969 NHTSA established the Experimental Safety Vehicle Program. The goal of the ESV is to reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities by designing cars to be crashworthy in a range covering the most prevalent collision circumstances. This paper evaluates safety vehicle planning and design for eventual mass production. The first safety vehicles built to meet the ESV crashworthiness specifications are limited in their ability to fulfill the needs of a broad transportation and social system. The ESV's were designed within consideration of occupants of other different-sized vehicles on energy resources, on economics, and on trade with shows shortcomings of a narrow design objective concentrating only crease owing to aggressiveness of the heavy vehicles. It appears unlikely that a vehicle totally designed for safety can be made cost/effective. International effects of the ESV Program indicate that loss of the U.S. automobile market due to failure to meet safety standards should have a negligible impact on international trade. From the energy viewpoint the safety vehicle is out of line with current national needs. Smaller vehicles for safety jeopardize the safety of their occupants unless all vehicles are of uniform weight. It is urged that the U.S. Department of Transportation re-examine and redefine the safety vehicle concept in light of the findings of this study and seriously consider compatible solutions to the triple challenge of safety, air pollution, and energy. The U.S. Government should: require that by 1980 all cars be of a common 200 pound weight class; use of lap and shoulder harnesses by all automobile occupants should be mandatory; strictly enforce the 55 m.p.h. speed limit; retain current regulations on exhaust emissions. /SRIS/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Columbia University

    School of Engineering and Applied Science
    New York, NY  USA  10027
  • Authors:
    • Tien, J K
    • Testa, R B
    • Clark, R W
    • Frederickson, J R
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 100 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00084743
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Res Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 7 1975 12:00AM