1

INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of accidental death and a major cause of unintentional injury in the United States. They burden society with nearly $140 billion in annual economic losses alone (NHTSA 1995, i).1 Although the current fatality rate of 1.1 fatalities per 100 million vehicle kilometers (1.7 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles) traveled is a historic low, it nonetheless represents more than 40,000 annual deaths and 3 million injuries (NHTSA 1995, i). Federal motor vehicle safety standards and vehicle design improvements, which resulted in the introduction of such safety features as air bags, have played an important role in improving highway safety. Fatality rates have fallen by nearly 70 percent since 1966, the year federal motor vehicle safety standards were authorized (NHTSA 1995).

Past safety gains notwithstanding, consumers have become more aware of the value of vehicle safety features and rate them as important factors in passenger vehicle purchasing decisions. Consumers could make even more informed purchase decisions with accurate comparative information on vehicle safety characteristics. Over time, improved comparative data on vehicle safety characteristics could also affect vehicle design as manufacturers respond to market pressure to provide safer vehicles. In addition, consumer safety information can be an appropriate complement to regulation: within a set of minimum standards, it enables consumers to make choices that reflect individual preferences and attitudes toward risk (Magat and Viscusi 1992, 4).

The purpose of this study is to examine consumer automotive safety information requirements and the most cost-effective methods of communicating this information. More specifically, the congressional



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information 1 INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of accidental death and a major cause of unintentional injury in the United States. They burden society with nearly $140 billion in annual economic losses alone (NHTSA 1995, i).1 Although the current fatality rate of 1.1 fatalities per 100 million vehicle kilometers (1.7 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles) traveled is a historic low, it nonetheless represents more than 40,000 annual deaths and 3 million injuries (NHTSA 1995, i). Federal motor vehicle safety standards and vehicle design improvements, which resulted in the introduction of such safety features as air bags, have played an important role in improving highway safety. Fatality rates have fallen by nearly 70 percent since 1966, the year federal motor vehicle safety standards were authorized (NHTSA 1995). Past safety gains notwithstanding, consumers have become more aware of the value of vehicle safety features and rate them as important factors in passenger vehicle purchasing decisions. Consumers could make even more informed purchase decisions with accurate comparative information on vehicle safety characteristics. Over time, improved comparative data on vehicle safety characteristics could also affect vehicle design as manufacturers respond to market pressure to provide safer vehicles. In addition, consumer safety information can be an appropriate complement to regulation: within a set of minimum standards, it enables consumers to make choices that reflect individual preferences and attitudes toward risk (Magat and Viscusi 1992, 4). The purpose of this study is to examine consumer automotive safety information requirements and the most cost-effective methods of communicating this information. More specifically, the congressional

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information request that prompted the study asks for an evaluation of “the validity of current programs, public and private, in providing accurate information to consumers on the real-world safety of vehicles, the possibility of improving the system in a cost-effective and realistic manner, and the best methods of providing useful information to consumers ” (Appendix B). Experiences with other informational programs, such as energy efficiency labeling for major appliances and fuel economy information for passenger vehicles, suggest that clearly presented, meaningful information can raise awareness and, over time, foster more informed purchase decisions. LEGISLATIVE CONTEXT AND SCOPE OF STUDY The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the lead federal agency for motor vehicle regulation and for providing consumer automotive information.2 Title II of the 1972 Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act (Public Law 92-513) directed NHTSA to develop comparative information on the damage susceptibility, crashworthiness, repairability, and insurance costs of individual makes and models of automobiles for distribution to consumers (Booz, Allen Applied Research 1976, II-1). The intent was to help consumers select wisely among purchase options and provide market incentives for vehicle manufacturers to produce cars that are less susceptible to damage, more crashworthy, and more easily repaired (U.S. Congress. Senate 1971, pp. 10, 15–16, 23–24; U.S. Congress. House 1972, pp. 7–8, 17–18). NHTSA's primary response to the vehicle safety-related information requirements of Title II was to establish the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in 1978. The program provides consumers with a measure of the relative crashworthiness of passenger vehicles of similar weight by estimating injury levels of vehicle occupants involved in frontal crashes from crash tests using humanlike instrumented dummies. Test results, which were first made available for selected model year 1979 automobiles, have been published annually ever since. In response to a 1992 congressional request, NHTSA adopted a simplified, more user-friendly rating scheme to make the test results more understandable and accessible to consumers (NHTSA 1993, 8).

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information More recently, as part of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on rollover prevention (Federal Register 1994), NHTSA proposed a new consumer safety information requirement —a safety label on all passenger vehicles providing comparative information on their resistance to rollover.3 Both the automobile industry and safety advocacy groups raised issues concerning the proposed measures of and the presentation of information about vehicle rollover propensity.4 The desirability of the safety label itself is an issue. Because of various federal and state requirements, vehicles have, or will soon have, labels providing information on many subjects—fuel economy, domestic content, bumper impact capability, proper placement of child safety seats, and use of safety belts with air bags—as well as more traditional price and equipment information. Additional safety information could overwhelm the consumer or simply be ignored, lessening or eliminating the value of the information. The reaction to NHTSA's proposed safety information requirement prompted Congress to request this study and delay issuance of a final rule until its completion. In response to these concerns, the study attempts to determine Appropriate safety-related characteristics for which consumer information is needed; The technical feasibility of developing simple and meaningful measures of complex safety information, including the feasibility of establishing summary measures of vehicle safety; Meaningful and cost-effective approaches of conveying safety and other automotive information to consumers; and Institutional strategies needed to promote continuing improvements in consumer safety information and vehicle design. The study is focused on development of more meaningful vehicle safety information to foster better consumer purchase decisions. New vehicles, including passenger cars and light truck vehicles (i.e, pickup trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles) are the primary focus, but some of the approaches could also be relevant for used cars.5 In the remainder of this chapter, some of the complexities involved in the development of meaningful consumer automotive safety information are introduced. These include the multidimensional nature of vehicle safety; the relative contribution of the vehicle, the driver, and the environment to crash likelihood; consumer attitudes toward the riskiness of driving generally; and institutional issues affecting information provision.

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information WHAT IS VEHICLE SAFETY? One of the difficulties of providing vehicle safety information in a simplified format for consumers is defining what is meant by vehicle safety. Unlike vehicle fuel economy or appliance energy efficiency, which can readily be represented in one or two summary measures (e.g., gas mileage in city driving and highway driving), vehicle safety is a multidimensional concept that is difficult to capture in a single measure. One way to conceptualize vehicle safety is to distinguish vehicle design characteristics and features related to the probability of being in a crash—referred to as crash avoidance—from those providing protection from harm during a crash—referred to as crashworthiness. Crash Avoidance Vehicle characteristics such as braking performance, vehicle stability, and visibility can help drivers avoid a crash or recover from a driving error. For example, antilock brakes prevent the wheels from locking and the car from skidding, thus helping the driver maintain control of the vehicle, particularly on wet and slippery surfaces (IIHS 1994b). Vehicles that have a low center of gravity relative to their track width have less of a propensity to roll over if the car runs off the road or collides with a barrier or another vehicle, all else being equal (Gillespie 1992, 310–313). In some cases the potential benefits of crash avoidance features may be considerably muted by driver behavior. For example, sports cars, which are known for their stability and handling capabilities, have some of the highest fatality rates as a vehicle class (IIHS 1994c). In the future, new technologies under development as part of the Intelligent Transportation Systems program6—heads-up instrument display panels, enhanced night vision systems, and collision avoidance systems—may enhance driver ability to avoid crashes. Vehicle Crashworthiness Once a crash occurs, vehicle safety characteristics such as weight and size play a critical role in determining the protection afforded vehicle occupants. The extent of injury is directly affected by the crash energy and the manner in which vehicle occupants experience the associated forces. Heavier vehicles typically have a larger interior space, thus providing a longer distance for the occupants to decelerate to a stop and reducing the likelihood of injury (Evans 1994, 12). Larger vehicles, with

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information more external energy-absorbing structures, do a better job of preventing intrusion into the occupant compartment and increasing the time the crash forces take to reach the occupants (O'Neill 1995, 4, 6–7). All else being equal, occupants of a heavier, larger car will fare better than the occupants of a smaller, lighter car if the two cars collide. Vehicle size and weight thus help mitigate the effects of a collision with another vehicle or an object outside the car. Occupant protection features have been developed to reduce what are known as the “second ” and “third” collisions, that is, the collision of the vehicle occupants inside the car (against the dashboard or windshield) and the collision of internal organs within the human body, respectively. For example, collapsible steering columns and padded dashboards help deflect or cushion collision impacts. Safety belt systems, which are required in all vehicles, help avoid the second impact. The seat belt is intended to restrain the lower torso and help hold the occupant inside the vehicle, whereas the shoulder belt primarily keeps the upper body away from the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield (IIHS 1994b). Air bags further protect the occupant's upper body in a severe frontal crash by providing an energy-absorbing cushion between the driver or front seat passenger and the interior of the vehicle (IIHS 1994b). Frontal air bags, however, provide no protection in rollovers or rear- or side-impact crashes; only safety belt systems offer this protection. Seat- and door-mounted air bags are now being introduced by some manufacturers to provide better protection in side-impact crashes. This brief summary of how vehicle characteristics and features affect highway safety illustrates the complexity of attempting to describe these factors in a simple yet meaningful manner as a basis for comparing the relative safety of individual vehicles. A major issue, which is discussed in the following section, is the difficulty of isolating vehicle factors from driver behavior and environmental conditions, which all interact to affect crash likelihood and crash outcomes. CRASH CAUSATION AND THE ROLE OF VEHICLE-RELATED FACTORS Vehicle crashes are complex events involving driver behavior, vehicle characteristics, and environmental conditions. Three in-depth studies of crashes dating from the 1970s (Perchonok 1972; Sabey 1973; Treat et al. 1979) attempted to assign causality to each of the major factors contributing to crash likelihood. The studies found that driver error or in-

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information appropriate driving behavior was the major contributing factor in 60 to 90 percent of motor vehicle crashes. Environmental factors (e.g., weather, road conditions, signing, and lighting) played a major role in 12 to 35 percent of the crashes. Vehicle-related factors (e.g., brake failures) were dominant in only 5 to 20 percent of the crashes. A recent General Accounting Office (GAO) study (GAO 1994) also investigated the relative contributions of driver attributes and vehicle characteristics to crash likelihood.7 GAO found that driver characteristics such as age and traffic violation history far outweighed vehicle factors—including vehicle age, weight, and size—in predicting crash involvement (GAO 1994, 2, 3). Thus, although vehicles differ in many of their characteristics and features, vehicle-related characteristics are only one factor, and to the extent prior studies are correct, a small factor in crash likelihood. Once in a crash, however, vehicle characteristics that contribute to crashworthiness, such as size and weight, how the vehicle absorbs energy, and restraint system attributes, play a large role in determining the likelihood and extent of occupant injury. In fact, because of this close coupling of vehicle characteristics and vehicle crashworthiness, federal regulations and research have placed a high priority on measures for improving vehicle crashworthiness. Numerous studies have documented that crashworthiness improvements have resulted in measurable reductions in fatalities and that the benefits of crashworthiness regulations on the average are greater than the costs.8 FEDERAL REGULATION OF VEHICLE SAFETY FEATURES Nearly 30 years of federal safety regulation and manufacturer design to comply with these standards has resulted in great improvements in vehicle design and performance. In addition, safety regulations have provided standards against which individual vehicles can be compared and their performance measured. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (P.L. 89-563) of 1966 authorized the then newly created NHTSA to set minimum vehicle safety performance standards, which meet the needs of motor vehicle safety.9 Within 2 years of its creation NHTSA had issued 29 motor vehicle safety standards and had proposed 95 more (Graham 1989, 32). The primary concern of NHTSA's early vehicle-related programs was to improve vehicle crashworthiness in frontal crashes, because of the large number of fatalities and injuries in this type of crash (TRB 1990,

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information 41). Early crashworthiness research focused on methods for reducing injury in frontal collisions through demonstration of air bag technologies and development of anthropometric test devices (crash dummies). These efforts culminated in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208 requiring that new automobiles not exceed certain injury thresholds measured in a 48-km/hr (30-mph) frontal crash test.10 After a lengthy and contentious debate over the technical feasibility and reliability of automatic or passive occupant restraint systems to improve vehicle crashworthiness, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule in 1984 requiring automatic protection in new vehicles.11 The automobile manufacturers could meet the amended FMVSS 208 with automatic safety belt systems or air bags; phase-in requirements began in model year 1987. After the initial emphasis on mitigation of frontal collisions, NHTSA 's attention shifted to occupant protection in side-impact crashes during the mid-1970s (TRB 1990, 41). After 10 years of development, NHTSA promulgated its amended regulation on side impact in 1988. The standard was upgraded in 1993 so that all passenger vehicles must now meet a dynamic side-impact crash standard. In recent years NHTSA has focused on rollover crashes, another major source of fatalities and injuries (TRB 1990, 41). An Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in January 1992, but NHTSA concluded in its recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that establishing a single minimum stability standard for passenger cars and light trucks could not be justified on cost-benefit grounds (Federal Register 1994, 33,258).12 Instead, NHTSA is proposing a broad range of measures to address rollover crashes, including antilock brakes; increased roof strength, better window construction, and improved door latches; and the consumer safety label previously discussed (Federal Register 1994, 33,256). Federal vehicle safety regulations appear to have contributed to greater uniformity in safety performance, particularly in vehicle crashworthiness as measured by frontal crash test results for passenger vehicles of roughly equivalent weight (Kahane et al. 1994). Moreover, safety standards now apply to all categories of vehicles. By 1998 all new passenger vehicles—light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles as well as cars—will be required to have the same major safety features and meet the same crash test standards.13 (Appendix C gives the regulations that are or soon will be required for the passenger and light truck vehicle fleet.14)

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information Federal vehicle safety standards also provide a source of comparative information about vehicle safety features and performance that can be adapted for consumer information purposes. Information is or soon will be available for a wide variety of vehicle safety characteristics and features, much of which is derived from vehicle regulatory requirements. However, some important vehicle safety characteristics, such as size, weight, energy-absorbing capability, and many nonregulated safety features are not reflected in federal motor vehicle safety standards. DRIVER ATTITUDES TO CRASH LIKELIHOOD AND VEHICLE SAFETY There may be a receptive audience for vehicle safety information now that consumers have become more aware of the value of vehicle safety features. Some consumers, however, may take safety for granted in automobile purchasing decisions because of the existence of federal regulations. Participants in recent NHTSA focus groups gave credence to this possibility: “Safety is not going to be my prime concern because I know that by federal law there are certain features which must be on all vehicles. I trust those features” (S.W. Morris & Co. 1993, 20). Consumer interest in vehicle safety information also may be affected by how drivers perceive the riskiness of driving. Millions of Americans drive each day and complete their trips safely, thus reinforcing the individual's perception that the risks involved in driving are low. With about 175 million licensed drivers, each driving an average of 21 400 km (13,400 mi) per year, the occurrence of a crash,15 on the average, is one every 335 000 driver kilometers (209,400 driver miles) or every 16 years of driving. The occurrence of a fatality is considerably less—one every 93 million driver kilometers (58 million driver miles) or every 4,300 years of driving.16 Of course, driving is not always conducted under average conditions. The likelihood of fatalities is considerably higher on two-lane rural roads, on weekend nights when alcohol consumption is a key factor, and for young (under 25) and older (65 or over) drivers and vehicle occupants. Nevertheless, the common perception, even among drivers who have been in a crash, is that such incidents are rare, unpredictable events largely outside reasonable human control—a view reinforced by the frequent direct feedback of crash-free motor vehicle trips (Evans 1991, 311). Many drivers believe that driving risk is low and that they themselves are less likely than others to experience a crash. Research indi-

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information cates that most drivers rank their own driving skills and safe driving practices as better than average (Evans 1991, 322–324; Williams et al. 1995, 119; Svenson 1981, 146). Thus, they may not be inclined to seek information on vehicle safety, or, where information is provided, they may view the information as applying to others. INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES A final issue that affects the provision of meaningful consumer automotive safety information concerns the providers of that information. Congress has designated NHTSA as the lead agency with responsibility for this function, and NHTSA has enjoyed some success in this role. The agency 's primary consumer vehicle safety information initiative—the NCAP—has encouraged manufacturers to design more crashworthy vehicles. Vehicle crash test scores have improved markedly since testing was begun in 1979, with the greatest improvements in the early 1980 model years. Parallel reductions in fatality likelihood for belted drivers in actual head-on collisions over this same period suggest that publication of NCAP scores contributed to vehicle design improvements (Kahane et al. 1994, 13).17 However, there are limitations to NHTSA's role as consumer safety information provider, suggesting the need for a broader-based effort. NHTSA's ability to develop more comprehensive consumer information is severely limited by resource constraints. Further progress also requires systematic rethinking of improvements in testing and measurement, which will be difficult for NHTSA if it does not have the collaboration of industry. Finally, safety is not the only policy objective for which NHTSA is responsible. For example, consumers could be urged to purchase larger and heavier cars to reduce the injury potential of vehicle occupants, but this prescription would likely be at odds with NHTSA's responsibility to improve vehicle fuel economy. IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDY Given all the caveats about the difficulty of providing meaningful consumer automotive safety information—the multidimensional character of vehicle safety and crash likelihood, the diminishing variation in safety features among motor vehicles, and the low risk that many travelers assign to driving—why attempt to improve vehicle safety infor-

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information mation? There are four good reasons. First, market incentives may not be adequate to provide the comprehensive safety information that consumers need to make informed purchase decisions. Second, although motor vehicle safety regulations have provided common safety standards among passenger vehicles, vehicles continue to differ in many safety-related dimensions (e.g., mass, size, stability, and crashworthiness). These dimensions can affect safety-related performance, which suggests the desirability of publicizing these differences. Third, the experience of NHTSA's NCAP indicates that providing comparative information on vehicle safety performance can be effective in motivating automobile manufacturers to build added safety into vehicle design. Fourth, the information may affect consumer attitudes and purchasing behavior. Many individuals of driving age will be in the market for a car18 in the next few years, and market research suggests that consumers, at least new car purchasers, are more aware today of the value of vehicle safety features. Thus, a potentially large audience exists for meaningful vehicle safety information, which can help consumers select the safest vehicle that will meet their needs and minimize crash likelihood and injury potential. ORGANIZATION OF REPORT The remainder of the report is concerned with what and how vehicle safety information should be provided to consumers. The key data sources and state of knowledge about vehicle crash avoidance and crashworthiness as a basis for providing consumer vehicle safety information are summarized in Chapter 2. The strengths and weaknesses of currently available consumer safety information are reviewed in Chapter 3, and recommendations are made for improving current information. An overview of what is known about how consumers think about automobile safety and how they search for and use information in making automobile purchase decisions is given in Chapter 4. Research to fill current gaps in knowledge is identified. Recommendations for developing and communicating improved consumer vehicle safety information, including summary measures of vehicle safety, are presented in Chapter 5, and an organizational structure and an implementation strategy to promote continuing improvements in consumer safety information and vehicle safety design are proposed in Chapter 6.

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information NOTES 1. Economic costs include medical costs, present and future discounted earnings losses, legal and court costs, coroner or medical examiner costs, emergency services, insurance administrative expenses, and delay costs caused by the crash (NHTSA and FHWA 1991, 31). Costs are estimated in 1990 dollars. 2. However, other federal agencies are involved. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for fuel economy information, the Justice Department handles price labeling on new cars, and the Federal Trade Commission handles used car labeling. 3. In the longer run, the NHTSA-proposed safety label could contain other information on vehicle safety, such as vehicle performance in frontal and side-impact crashes. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking indicated that NHTSA would propose such additions in a supplemental rulemaking (Federal Register 1994, 33,256). 4. Industry and safety advocates both criticized the proposed safety label, but for different reasons. The automobile manufacturers questioned the feasibility of providing meaningful comparative information on vehicle rollover propensity in a simplified form (AAMA 1994). Safety advocates supported the concept of a safety label but were highly critical of what they regard as the overly simplified information NHTSA currently provides on vehicle frontal crashworthiness (IIHS 1994a). Moreover, they strongly opposed the requirement of a safety label, perceiving it as a substitute for a rollover stability standard (Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety 1994). 5. Providing safety information about used vehicles is a far more complex task because of the potential for modifications to used vehicles as well as their different crash experience. However, some methods of communicating vehicle safety information on new vehicles (e.g., a safety brochure), depending on the information they include, could also be appropriate for used vehicles. 6. The Intelligent Transportation Systems program includes four major categories of technology: (a) advanced traffic management systems for controlling and optimizing traffic flows on road networks, (b) advanced traveler information systems, (c) advanced vehicle control systems, and (d) commercial vehicle operations (TRB 1991, 21–23). 7. The analysis was based on a North Carolina data base, and hence the findings cannot be generalized to the nation as a whole. 8. Evans (1991) summarizes the NHTSA estimates of fatality reductions for vehicle occupants that can be attributed to the introduction of individual crashworthiness regulations, which range from 0.33 percent to 4.4 percent, and estimates larger combined effects in the neighborhood of 11 percent. (Note that these results do not include effects on nonoccupants, who, it can be argued, are largely unaffected by crashworthiness measures that are aimed at protecting vehicle occupants, such as energy-absorbing steering

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information columns.) Other researchers such as Crandall et al. (1986) have found that “the total benefits from the lifesaving effects of [crashworthiness] safety regulation are substantially greater than the costs of the required safety features on passenger cars under most reasonable assumptions” (p. 84). 9. The companion Highway Safety Act (P.L. 89-564) of 1966 provided national standards to guide state and local highway safety programs and provided grants to support these activities. 10. Specifically, the test measures the force of impact on the heads, chests, and upper legs of electronically instrumented, safety-belted dummies in the driver and passenger seats. 11. DOT agreed to rescind the federal requirement that automobile manufacturers install air bags or automatic belts if states representing two-thirds of the population mandated the use of safety belts. In the end, however, the conditions laid out by DOT were not met within the proposed guidelines, and the automobile manufacturers were required to phase in either air bags or automatic belts (TRB 1989, 12). 12. This ruling has been vigorously opposed by highway safety groups, among others, who maintain that NHTSA could have examined other options such as stability standards for certain vehicle classes (Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety 1994). 13. However, because of the slow turnover of the vehicle fleet, it may be a decade or more before all vehicles on the road meet current regulatory requirements. 14. U.S. motor vehicle safety regulations, while extensive, do not include any field-of-view requirements, which are mandated in many European countries. 15. Estimates of crashes provided by the National Safety Council—11,200,000 motor vehicle crashes in 1994—were used for this calculation (Fearn et al. 1995, 78). Police-reported crashes, estimated at 6,492,000, are considerably lower (NHTSA 1995, i). 16. The primary source for the fatality and vehicle miles traveled figures is NHTSA (1995, i). 17. The automatic protection requirement of FMVSS 208, which affected model years 1987 and later, also contributed to reductions in fatality risk (Kahane et al. 1994, 13). 18. In 1989 there were 0.95 vehicles per person of driving age (Lave 1992, 5–7), indicating that nearly all of those eligible to drive have access to a car. REFERENCES Abbreviations AAMA American Automobile Manufacturers Association FHWA Federal Highway Administration GAO General Accounting Office IIHS Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration TRB Transportation Research Board AAMA. 1994. Response to Docket No. 91-68, Notice 3, No. 47. Comments on Consumer Information Regulations; Rollover Prevention . Detroit, Mich., Oct. 20, 71 pp. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. 1994. Response to Docket No. 91-68, Notice 3, No. 35. Petition for Reconsideration: Termination of Rulemaking on Light Passenger Vehicle Rollover Prevention. Washington, D.C., Aug. 30, 55 pp. Booz, Allen Applied Research. 1976. Final Phase I Report, The Automobile Consumer Information Study, Title II, P.L. 92-513. DOT-HS-803-254. Bethesda, Md., June, 184 pp. Crandall, R.W., H.K. Gruenspecht, T.E. Keeler, and L.B. Lave. 1986. Regulating the Automobile. The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., 202 pp. Evans, L. 1991. Traffic Safety and the Driver. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 405 pp. Evans, L. 1994. Small Cars, Big Cars: What Is the Safety Difference? Chance, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp 9–16. Fearn, K.T., L. Kao, and T. Miller. 1995. Accident Facts, 1995 Edition. National Safety Council, Itasca, Ill. Federal Register. 1994. Consumer Information Regulations; Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rollover Prevention. NHTSA, U.S. Department of Transportation. Vol. 59, No. 123, June 28, pp 33,254–33,272. GAO. 1994. Highway Safety: Factors Affecting Involvement in Vehicle Crashes. GAO/PEMD-95-3. Washington, D.C., Oct., 46 pp. Gillespie, T.D. 1992. Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics. Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pa. Graham, J.D. 1989. Auto Safety: Assessing America's Performance. Auburn House Publishing Co., Dover, Mass. IIHS. 1994a. Response to Docket No. 91-68, Notice 3, No. 54. Consumer Information Regulations; Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rollover Prevention. Arlington, Va., Oct. 21, 4 pp. IIHS. 1994b. Shopping for a Safer Car. Arlington, Va., Sept. IIHS. 1994c. Special Issue: Driver Death Rates by Vehicle Make and Series. Status Report, Vol. 29, No. 11, Oct. 8. Kahane, C.J., J.R. Hackney, and A.M. Berkowitz. 1994. Correlation of Vehicle Performance in the New Car Assessment Program with Fatality Risk in Actual Head-On Collisions. No. 94-S8-O-ll. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 17 pp. Lave, C. 1992. Cars and Demographics. Access, No. 1, Fall, pp 4–11. Magat, W.A., and W.K. Viscusi. 1992. Informational Approaches to Regulation. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. S.W. Morris & Co. 1993. Focus Groups on Traffic Safety Issues: Public Response to NCAP. DTNH22-90-C-07015. Bethesda, Md., Aug. 23, 51 pp.

OCR for page 10
Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information NHTSA and FHWA. 1991. Moving America More Safely. U.S. Department of Transportation, Sept., 61 pp. NHTSA. 1993. New Car Assessment Program. Response to the NCAP FY 1992 Congressional Requirements. U.S. Department of Transportation, Dec., 125 pp. NHTSA. 1995. Traffic Safety Facts 1994. DOT-HS-808-292. U.S. Department of Transportation, Aug. O'Neill, B. 1995. The Physics of Car Crashes and the Role of Vehicle Size and Weight in Occupant Protection. IIHS, July, 14 pp. Perchonok, K. 1972. Accident Cause Analysis. Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc., Ithaca, N.Y., July. Sabey, B. 1973. Accident Analysis in Great Britain. Transport and Road Research Laboratory, Crowthorne, Berkshire, United Kingdom, Oct. Svenson, O. 1981. Are We All Less Risky and More Skillful Than Our Fellow Drivers? Acta Psychologica, No. 47, pp 143–148. Treat, J.R., et al. 1979. Tri-Level Study of the Causes of Traffic Accidents 1979. DOT HS-034-3-545. Indiana University, Bloomington. TRB. 1989. Special Report 224: Safety Belts, Airbags, and Child Restraints. National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 69 pp. TRB. 1990. Special Report 229: Safety Research for a Changing Highway Environment . National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 166 pp. TRB. 1991. Special Report 232: Advanced Vehicle and Highway Technologies. National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 90 pp. U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. 1972. House Report No. 92-1033. April 28. U.S. Congress. Senate. 1971. Senate Report No. 92-413. Oct. 28. Williams, A.F., N.N. Paek, and A.K. Lund. 1995. Factors That Drivers Say Motivate Safe Driving Practices. Journal of Safety Research, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp 119–124.