The purpose of this review of 41 studies and reports concerning periodic motor vehicle inspection was to seek evidence as to whether the costs of requiring all motorists to have certain safety components on their vehicles inspected and repaired on a regular basis are less than the benefits gained from such inspections in terms of safer vehicles and fewer vehicle-defect accidents. A number of studies provide evidence that vehicles in some PMVI jurisdictions are in better condition on some components than vehicles in some non-PMVI jurisdictions, but none of these studies involve truly random samples of vehicles-in-use. Similarly, a number of studies have reported some reductions in accidents in association with PMVI (and some have reported the opposite), but no credible evidence was found which demonstrates significant changes in vehicle-defect accidents as a result of PMVI. Thus the few studies which have addressed the cost-benefit question have tended to be rather subjective and speculative because of the shortage of thorough and believable research on PMVI effectiveness. There is credible evidence that existing PMVI programs are not as reliable in detecting degraded safety components and forcing their repair as was envisioned by PMVI proponents. It is clear that much more could be done to improve the effectiveness of existing PMVI programs. Also auto manufacturers could do more to encourage the maintenance of safe vehicles by providing durable components and built-in indicators of their failure.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

    2901 Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109-2150

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Wolfe, A C
    • O'Day, J
  • Publication Date: 1985-1

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 82 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00450358
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UMTRI-85-4 Final Rpt., HS-806 750
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-84-P-05117
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1985 12:00AM