In a nationwide, scientifically selected sample, 1,017 people who intend to buy a new car within the next 3 years were interviewed by a professional polling organization in July, 1976. For improved protection in crashes, 77% of these new car buyers expressed a preference for protection that they would not have to do anything to activate--39% exclusively and 38% in combination with protection that has to be activated by driver or passengers. Only 15% exclusively preferred increased protection that they would have to activate each time they travel and 7% expressed no opinion. The new car buyers expressed a willingness to add substantially to their monthly car payments for crash protection that would save lives: an average of $12 per month to save 6,000 lives per year, $17 per month to save 12,000 lives per year and $20 per month to save 18,000 lives per year. The amount that car buyers are willing to spend to save 6,000 lives is far above estimated costs for equipment that would meet a proposed federal standard that would save an additional 8,800 lives per year. Nor example, the U.S. Department of Transportation indicates that front seat air bags that inflate automatically in severe frontal crashes and lap belts would cost less than $4 per month more than present front seat belt systems spread across 36 monthly car payments including interest. When asked if they favored or opposed their states requiring belt use by law, 47% of the respondents favored such laws, 50% opposed them and 3% had no opinion. No significant differences were found among men and women, people from regions of the country, or among members and nonmembers of the American Automobile Association as well as other auto clubs in crash protection preferences, willingness to pay for increased crash protection, and opinions of belt use laws. /Author/

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 13 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00148763
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 11 1977 12:00AM