DANGEROUS DECADE ON U.S. HIGHWAYS

The increased use of compact and subcompact cars will result in thousands of additional deaths and injuries in the coming years if current trends continue. This is because, while they are more fuel efficient, light-weight cars simply do not provide nearly as much crash protection as heavier vehicles and hence generate a greater risk of injury to occupants in the event of a crash. This trend is exacerbated by the fact that the majority of drivers under 25 (the most accident prone age group) drive small cars, thus increasing their chances of injury or death even more, about 87 percent more than with a full sized car. This situation will be somewhat rectified by automatic safety equipment (air bags or automatic belt systems) being mandated for all cars by 1984. However, small cars built earlier without such systems will remain on the road for most of the 1980's thus diluting any improvement in traffic safety over the next decades. In the meantime, drivers are advised to minimize the risk of injury and the cost of automobile insurance by taking such steps as using seat belts, driving a full-sized or intermediate car is possible, buying a car with air bags as soon as they are available, using public transportation when possible, and driving four-door sedans which for reasons not yet clearly understood have lower accident rates than two-door models.

  • Corporate Authors:

    American Mutual Insurance Alliance

    20 North Wacker Drive
    Chicago, IL  United States  60606
  • Publication Date: 1978-2

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00179834
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 12 1978 12:00AM