6

ORGANIZATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

Development of consumer vehicle safety information should be part of an ongoing process to inform the public and provide market and other incentives for the design of safer cars. An organizational structure is needed to sustain these activities and secure the participation of the major interested parties. In this chapter the objectives and functions of such a structure are discussed, organizational options are explored, and an implementation strategy is recommended.

ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES

An organizational structure is needed that will support two objectives: (a) creation and dissemination of improved vehicle safety information to assist the general public in making informed choices in the selection of new cars and (b) provision of a process that over time could lead to continuous improvement of the measures used to report vehicle performance and safety.

Any summary measures of crash avoidance and vehicle crashworthiness that can be produced in the next few years will have limited predictive power. If a proposal to produce such measures in the near term is not linked to a broader process that can dramatically improve the predictive power of such measures, it will not adequately serve the long-term interests of the general public, automotive safety regulators, or the automobile industry. Because any measures that can be produced in the next few years would be only loosely correlated with actual vehicle safety performance, they may not provide strong market feedback to encourage improvement in vehicle safety design. Nor would they provide an incentive to improve the crash tests, the crash field data, and the engineering design tools on which the measures are based.



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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information 6 ORGANIZATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS Development of consumer vehicle safety information should be part of an ongoing process to inform the public and provide market and other incentives for the design of safer cars. An organizational structure is needed to sustain these activities and secure the participation of the major interested parties. In this chapter the objectives and functions of such a structure are discussed, organizational options are explored, and an implementation strategy is recommended. ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES An organizational structure is needed that will support two objectives: (a) creation and dissemination of improved vehicle safety information to assist the general public in making informed choices in the selection of new cars and (b) provision of a process that over time could lead to continuous improvement of the measures used to report vehicle performance and safety. Any summary measures of crash avoidance and vehicle crashworthiness that can be produced in the next few years will have limited predictive power. If a proposal to produce such measures in the near term is not linked to a broader process that can dramatically improve the predictive power of such measures, it will not adequately serve the long-term interests of the general public, automotive safety regulators, or the automobile industry. Because any measures that can be produced in the next few years would be only loosely correlated with actual vehicle safety performance, they may not provide strong market feedback to encourage improvement in vehicle safety design. Nor would they provide an incentive to improve the crash tests, the crash field data, and the engineering design tools on which the measures are based.

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information If, instead, the best summary measures that can be produced now are not viewed as a final product but as the first step in designing better measures and safer cars in the future, incentives become apparent. Manufacturers, insurance companies, consumer groups, and others all have an interest in developing and proposing strategies for improvement. An organization charged with developing better measures might conclude that it wants different types of crash tests and different kinds of field crash data than are now available. It might develop advanced statistical strategies to produce a tighter coupling between crash performance in the field and vehicle design and testing. In the longer run, it might even devise a way to develop and use well-calibrated computer-aided design codes to subject all new vehicle designs systematically to a wider range of crash environments than is possible today with a small number of crash tests. Ultimately, under such a system, actual crash tests might be run primarily to ensure good calibration of the computer design codes. INSTITUTIONAL CONCEPT AND FUNCTIONS For the foreseeable future, there appears to be no way to produce meaningful summary measures without exercising considerable expert judgment. For example, crash test data and data accumulated from highway crashes are important in predicting overall vehicle crashworthiness, but they do not tell the whole story. Expert judgment must be exercised to decide how such data should be combined and how to integrate more qualitative factors, such as the presence or absence of specific vehicle safety design features, into the summary predictive measure. There is no single right way to produce such a measure. From a societal perspective, the best procedure would be to assemble a group of outstanding, economically disinterested automotive experts, statisticians, and decision analysts and give them the independence to construct the best summary measures they can, using all available data and their carefully considered professional judgments. Because short-term market advantages for various automobile companies may depend on the details of these choices, care must be taken so that the experts who propose the measures can make their judgments without undue pressure. Besides producing the best measures now possible, the group should conduct or commission research to improve the predictive power of such measures. For example, research is needed to devise crash tests

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information that better reflect vehicle performance in real crashes and to ascertain the role of vehicle technologies and their use by drivers in avoiding crashes. The group should have the flexibility to change the measures it uses as better methods become available. It should examine all aspects of the design, testing, and data-gathering process with a view toward developing better predictive measures and producing safer automobiles. Finally, a group of consumer information specialists, risk perception and risk communication experts, and marketing and advertising professionals should be charged with improving the presentation and dissemination of vehicle safety information. In the short term this could involve improving the presentation of existing disaggregated vehicle safety data and making the data more widely available to consumers early in the automobile purchasing decision process. Once summary safety measures have been developed, dissemination efforts would be focused on communicating these more aggregated data in the ways described in the preceding chapter. ORGANIZATIONAL OPTIONS Attributes for Effective Operation A suitable organizational structure should have the following characteristics. First, it must involve the major stakeholders—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the automobile manufacturers selling in the U.S. market, and the insurance industry—who have a direct interest in the outcome of a program to improve consumer vehicle safety information. Safety advocacy and consumer groups should also be broadly represented. The consensus needed to produce and disseminate meaningful consumer vehicle safety information requires the involvement of all the interested parties. Together, they should convene a group of experts in the fields of automotive engineering, highway safety, safety data and statistical analysis, consumer education, risk analysis and communication, marketing, and advertising and charge them with developing the content of a safety information program and dissemination strategies. Second, the organization must strike a balance between responsiveness and independence. Development of summary safety measures, in particular, will require considerable judgment, and the resulting vehicle ratings may be controversial. Their designers must have the latitude to make judgments independently. At the same time, the de-

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information signers must be sensitive to the concerns of the stakeholders who are most affected. A balance between independence and responsiveness can probably best be achieved in an environment insulated from direct political influence. Openness is another important attribute for success. All the assumptions made, alternatives considered, and strategies adopted should be fully described so that they can be subjected to public review and critical evaluation. Continuity, the fourth organizational attribute, is fundamental to the success of the effort. As discussed previously, significant improvements in consumer safety information and the design of safer vehicles require a continuing commitment supported by a program of long-term research and improvements in crash testing and design procedures. A related attribute—funding that does not depend entirely on government sources—can help ensure continuity. Meeting long-term objectives requires a multimillion dollar, multiyear effort. Funding from the major stakeholders should help guarantee their continued participation and provide the resources needed to sustain the proposed research program. Finally, whatever organizational structure is agreed upon, the arrangements must be feasible. Feasibility is broadly defined here to include both political and organizational feasibility. Whatever organizational arrangement is pursued, success will require cooperation among stakeholders who have different objectives. In the absence of goodwill and strong leadership, no organizational arrangement can guarantee success. Despite the long-term advantages of the system proposed, marketing and other short-term considerations may cause manufacturers to resist a process that will produce sharply focused safety comparisons among motor vehicles. Manufacturers have historically opposed many federal crash test programs, including NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Such a mind-set may not be easily overcome by promises of long-term improvements. The insurance industry, which has recently instituted a program to develop comparative summary safety information, including offset crash tests, may be reluctant to commit additional financial support to a new safety rating program whose future and success are uncertain. Likewise, NHTSA may find it difficult to join in a cooperative voluntary program while carrying out its other safety-related responsibilities. It is because

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information of such differing concerns and interests that the committee concludes that no organizational arrangement will ensure success without strong and inventive high-level leadership. Organizational Alternatives Five possible institutional arrangements could meet the criteria outlined: Consumer vehicle safety information and dissemination strategies are developed by NHTSA, and the research and plans in support of improved information are produced by NHTSA. The development of consumer vehicle safety information and dissemination strategies is overseen by a NHTSA-appointed advisory committee supported by NHTSA staff and possibly also by outside contractors. Longer-term research and improvements in crash testing and engineering design tools are also overseen by the advisory committee. The functions are managed by a specially chartered private-public organization, which is jointly supported and overseen by NHTSA, the automobile manufacturers selling in the U.S. market, and the insurance industry. The functions are managed by a private-sector group comprising the automobile manufacturers and the insurance industry. They make recommendations to NHTSA about needed research, improved data collection, information dissemination strategies, and changes that should be made in crash test regulations. The functions are handled by one or more nongovernmental organizations (e.g., Consumers Union, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the American Automobile Association). They make recommendations for research, data collection, and dissemination strategies that, if adopted by NHTSA and the industry, would promote long-term improvements in consumer vehicle safety information. Option 1: Operate Through Existing NHTSA Programs The first option involves having NHTSA mount the entire undertaking on its own. NHTSA has the authority both to regulate motor vehicles

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information and provide consumer automotive safety information. Agency staff could produce or oversee the production of summary vehicle safety measures. However, NHTSA may have difficulty making, defending, and promulgating the types of judgments that the process requires. Political pressures from direct lobbying and from the executive branch and Congress are inevitable and could threaten the integrity of the program and the stability of other NHTSA programs. In addition, NHTSA may have trouble recruiting and retaining experts with the necessary experience. If some of the work is done by contractors, federal acquisition regulations (e.g., selection of low-cost bids) could make it difficult to employ the best experts. Once a set of summary safety measures has been developed, if the effort is to lead ultimately to improved methods of crash testing and better vehicle safety designs, NHTSA will find it unproductive to operate entirely on its own. Success requires the participation and cooperation of a number of other parties, especially the manufacturers of motor vehicles. In addition, NHTSA could not undertake such an effort without new funds; securing them will not be easy under todays budgetary constraints. Thus this option violates several of the criteria mentioned at the outset—participation of major stakeholders and relevant experts, adequate insulation from political pressures, broad-based funding, and continuity of effort. Option 2: Operate Through a New NHTSA Federal Advisory Committee The second option involves establishing one or more federal advisory committees supported by NHTSA staff and possibly also by outside contractors. NHTSA has the authority to bring the major stakeholders together in an advisory committee, ensuring the participation of the automobile manufacturers, the insurance industry, and consumer education and safety experts, at least in the short term. The advisory committee structure would ensure balance among the various participants and an open process. It might encourage outside funding. Perhaps most attractive, a federal advisory committee (or committees) could be established rapidly by agency administrative action.1 The goals of the committee would align well with NHTSA's mission, and the agency could implement its advice directly.

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information There are drawbacks to this approach. A potential problem is the difficulty of sustaining a substantial research program. With NHTSA in charge, consensus building may be difficult, and industry may not have the incentive to help fund a long-term effort. However, NHTSA's Motor Vehicle Research Safety Advisory Committee has successfully sponsored cooperative public-private research.2 Although its mission is considerably broader than vehicle safety information, it could provide a model for a new advisory committee with a narrower focus—improving vehicle safety information—and a research agenda. Option 3: Create a New Public-Private Automotive Safety Institute The third option involves the creation of a specially chartered private-public organization—an Automotive Safety Institute (ASI)—jointly supported by NHTSA, the automobile manufacturers selling in the U.S. market, and the insurance industry. The Health Effects Institute (HEI) provides a partial model for such a public-private venture, although other approaches may be appropriate (see text boxes). A board of directors would oversee the development of consumer vehicle safety information and the related research program. The sponsors would operate in an advisory capacity to the board. THE HEALTH EFFECTS INSTITUTE—A PARTIAL MODEL FOR AN AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY INSTITUTE Chartered in 1980 as an independent nonprofit corporation, HEI was created to support basic research on the health effects of pollutants from motor vehicles (HEI 1994a, 3). The need for an HEI grew out of an adversarial relationship that had developed between government and industry over air quality regulations. The new institute was to conduct research on regulatory-related issues in a depoliticized environment to improve the science base underlying environmental regulation (T. Grumbly, The Health Effects Institute: A New Approach To Developing and Managing Regulatory Science, unpublished manuscript, p. 1).

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the manufacturers and marketers of motor vehicles and engines in the United States jointly support HEI's $6 million annual operating budget. EPA and the motor vehicle industry each provide an average of $3 million annually. Industry's share is proportional to the vehicle and engine sales of each of the participating companies (HEI 1994a, 3). To ensure impartiality, however, none of the contributors has control over the research agenda or findings, nor does HEI make recommendations on the regulatory or public policy implications of the research. A board of directors of outstanding scientists, chaired by Archibald Cox, further insulates HEI from political pressure. The organization has a small, high-quality technical staff, who assist the Institute's Research and Review Committees in overseeing the selection and review of research projects conducted by researchers drawn from across the professional community (HEI 1994b). Since its inception, HEI has funded more than 120 studies and 65 research reports (HEI 1994b, 1). Creating and sustaining an organization like HEI requires leadership, patience, and a product that is timely and relevant. With the backing of the administrator of EPA, the chairman of General Motors, and its strong board of directors, HEI had the wherewithal to overcome start-up problems. Even with this level of commitment, it took 2 years before any research got under way and 5 years before HEI was operating at nearly full capacity (T. Grumbly, The Health Effects Institute: A New Approach To Developing and Managing Regulatory Science, unpublished manuscript, p. 31). Finally, HEI has always walked a fine line between independence and responsiveness to its sponsors. Its sponsors were strong supporters of its mission to conduct high-quality research, but the degree of independence this implied has been difficult to accept in practice. EPA, in particular, has been critical of the relevance and timeliness of HEI's research agenda. Whereas an ASI would probably have a more focused and applied research program, issues of accountability and responsiveness would require careful attention.

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information OTHER PUBLIC-PRIVATE MODELS FOR AN AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY INSTITUTE A recent review of the Health Effects Institute (NRC 1993) suggested that HEI is only one of several models of public-private cooperative ventures. The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), for example, uses the staff and resources of participating organizations. Formed in 1991, USABC is funded equally by the three U.S. automobile manufacturers and the Department of Energy (with some additional funding from the Electric Power Research Institute) to conduct research and development on advanced batteries for electric vehicles (NRC 1993, 106). The sponsoring organizations form committees and make the decisions without separate staff or facilities. USABC has had a more focused technology development program than the more controversial fundamental research program conducted by HEI; by building on existing organizations, its progress has been rapid (NRC 1993, 106). Another approach is the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV). In 1993 the U.S. government and the “Big Three” automobile manufacturers committed to a 10-year program to develop a passenger vehicle with up to three times the fuel efficiency of today's midsized sedan but with equivalent performance, safety, and cost (adjusted for economics). One or more prototypes will be developed by 2004. The partnership builds largely on existing resources (redirecting them to PNGV program goals) and personnel in a 50-50 cost-sharing arrangement. The federal government conducts more of the high-risk, fundamental research and the private sector, more of the applied research and development (R&D) (PNGV 1994). A far more complex venture than would likely be required for a consumer automotive safety information program, PNGV illustrates the broad-based support and public-private commitment that are possible for a program with a well-defined goal. A third public-private partnership founded in 1990—ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) America—illustrates the role that a federal advisory committee can play in shaping an R&D program. Since its inception, the board of directors and coordinating council of ITS America have operated as a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Its

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information role has been to provide policy advice about the general direction of the $100 million to $200 million R&D program at DOT to develop advanced highway and vehicle technologies that could dramatically improve the efficiency of existing highway facilities (TRB 1991). ITS America is organized as a nonprofit organization, receiving one-third of its funds from DOT through a cooperative agreement and two-thirds from private-sector member dues and operations (e.g., annual meeting, publications). With 20 technical committees, its primary mission is to function as an information clearinghouse and coordinating body. This alternative offers several attractions. In contrast to the first two options, it would provide a more neutral environment where experts could work and make judgments relatively insulated from political influence. Because government and industry would be equal partners, an ASI would be more likely to draw private-sector commitment and sustained nongovernmental support. Thus, fewer federal resources might be required in the long term. Finally, the vehicle safety information and research programs would be closely tied in a new organization whose long-term goal would be to integrate crash test and other vehicle safety requirements with the measures used to predict vehicle safety performance. An ASI would have two ongoing programs: (a) development of improved consumer vehicle safety information, summary safety measures, and dissemination strategies, and (b) research on how to produce better summary safety measures, which would include attention to better vehicle design procedures, crash tests, and crash field data. The primary drawback of this approach is the difficulty of creating and sustaining a new organization. Any new institution requires leadership, time, and money. Chartering an ASI would require the strong support and funding commitment of the major stakeholders and innovative leadership to weather any start-up difficulties. If the HEI experience is a guide, this option might take longer to produce results. It might also cost more than either of the first two alternatives, but it is likely to yield a more satisfactory long-run outcome. Finally, account-

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information ability could become an issue with an independent organization. The charter of an ASI should provide for public as well as professional scrutiny of its programs and products. Option 4: Operate Through the Private Sector Essentially, this would be an industry version of ASI. This option would provide the greatest assurance that programs to improve consumer vehicle safety information would be incorporated into improvements in crash testing and vehicle design. A privately run operation also would not be dependent on uncertain federal support. Without NHTSA's involvement, however, an industry-only ASI would not be in a strong position to influence changes in crash testing or vehicle safety standards that might be suggested by a long-term program of research. Indeed, without the expectation of future improvement in and possible standardization of vehicle crash test requirements and the measures used to report vehicle safety performance, a key factor motivating industry participation would be lost. Without public involvement, the findings and products of an industry ASI might be viewed as biased and be ignored by the general public. Alternatively, one or more private organizations could develop summary measures and operate independently but in parallel with a system that involves federal government participation. That could prove beneficial since the more approaches being tested, the greater the likelihood that better strategies will be found and implemented. However, the prospects that any private organization could find the resources to mount such an undertaking are not good. Option 5: Operate Through Nongovernmental Organizations This option has many similarities to the preceding alternative. With public interest groups or professional organizations involved rather than industry alone, the products of this effort have a better chance of being well received by the general public. That being said, this option offers the least potential for bringing together the major stakeholders—NHTSA, the automobile manufacturers, and the insurance industry—to support an integrated program of informational improvements and long-term research leading to improved crash testing methods and safer vehicle de-

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information signs. Moreover, it is unlikely that consumer groups or professional organizations would have the resources to mount such an endeavor. Conclusion On the basis of the preceding analysis, Option 2 and Option 3—establishment of a federal advisory committee and creation of a public-private Automotive Safety Institute, respectively—are the most promising. Option 2 would allow the process to start quickly. Convening an advisory committee, developing a plan of action, empaneling a group of experts, and conducting some initial research (i.e., the two projects mentioned in Chapter 4) could probably be accomplished with a modest annual investment of $1 million to $2 million and NHTSA staff support. However, without a congressional mandate, the advisory committee approach might not provide adequate incentives to draw long-term industry support. Option 3 probably offers the best chance of achieving a sustained long-term program, but setting up the proposed ASI is a more difficult undertaking and would take time and a significant investment to produce results. Although it is premature to provide a definitive estimate, a fully operational program of research, data improvements, vehicle testing, and design initiatives would likely require annual resources on the order of $10 million to $20 million or more under either option, most of which could be expected to come from participating industries. 3 IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY AND NEXT STEPS Neither organizational approach will work without the cooperation and commitment of both NHTSA and the automobile manufacturers with the largest U.S. sales. The key stakeholders have good reasons to participate. With mission responsibilities for vehicle safety regulation and provision of consumer safety information but limited resources, NHTSA should welcome a broadly funded, market-oriented approach that encourages design and purchase of safer vehicles. The automobile manufacturers would benefit from a program with the potential to improve crash testing programs, particularly if they were to participate in a voluntary effort to develop better testing methods.4 And, if the information program is successful, that is, if at least some consumers are persuaded to use summary safety ratings in making automobile purchases, it could stimulate demand for new cars with the most advanced

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information designs and safety features. The insurance industry would be motivated to participate because of the long-term potential for the program to reduce customer injury and collision claims. The Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT) should take the first step to bring together the major stakeholders by consulting with senior representatives of the domestic and foreign automobile companies and the insurance industry and with the leadership of the House and Senate appropriations committees who requested this study, to solicit their participation. Congress should follow up this meeting with a formal request and appropriate funding, charging DOT to initiate a process that would lead to the development of summary vehicle safety measures and a mechanism for continuing improvements by 2000. The secretary should determine the most appropriate organizational structure to carry the program forward and issue a progress report within 18 months. If the process can move forward on a voluntary basis, no new legislative action would be necessary. Once summary safety measures are developed and a few manufacturers start using the labels and the accompanying brochures and booklets, strong pressures would emerge for all manufacturers to participate. Even if some did not, the information would be readily available through other channels (e.g., consumer magazines and the Internet). If, after a few years of experience, a number of manufacturers are still not placing vehicle safety labels on their vehicles and vehicle safety brochures in the glove compartment, labeling and information requirements could be mandated. BENEFITS OF CONSUMER VEHICLE SAFETY INFORMATION Despite improvements in the nations highway safety record, motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Improved consumer vehicle safety information can influence consumer choice and manufacturer design of safer vehicles and ultimately reduce the number of fatalities and injuries. However, the magnitude of the safety impact is not known. Each year, about 15 million new cars, light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles are purchased (AAMA 1995, 19, 21). Thus there is a large potential market for understandable comparative information about the safety characteristics of these new vehicles. Widely disseminated summary information could increase awareness of the importance of safety

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information as a purchase attribute and could make it easier for safety-conscious market segments—older drivers, families, and parents of teenage drivers —to comparison shop and select the safest vehicle they can afford. Moreover, it could motivate automobile manufacturers to make improvements in safety design so that their products receive good ratings on summary safety measures. The value of even a small decline in net fatalities that could be attributed to a consumer automotive safety information program could be considerable and, in the committee's judgment, might easily exceed the costs of supplying better information to consumers and vehicle designers. For example, using current estimates of “willingness to pay” to reduce the risk of deaths from motor vehicle fatalities,5 a $20 million per year program of research and information would only need to achieve a net mortality reduction on the order of 10 deaths per year6 to justify program expenditures. NOTES 1. Although congressional action is not required to establish a federal advisory committee, the agency administrator must register the committee with the appropriate congressional staff. There is also a budget for advisory committees. 2. A recent project involved an assessment of the effectiveness of antilock brakes. 3. This estimate is based on the committee's examination of the budgets of other programs proposed as possible models—HEI and ITS—and the activities to be undertaken. 4. Currently, industry must conduct full-frontal and side-impact crash tests for compliance purposes in the United States; the NCAP test has also become a de facto standard. Offset crash tests are likely to become more common in the future now that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has begun its U.S. offset testing program and offset testing standards have been introduced in other markets (e.g., Europe and Australia). The efficiencies to be gained from a more standardized, perhaps even different, set of crash tests should motivate industry participation. 5. Although there has been much controversy in the literature on the treatment of “value of life,” most policy analysts have now settled on a willingness-to-pay formulation. Even the term “value of life” is misleading. Nobody is asked to pay this value to avoid a certain death. Rather, this is the implicit marginal rate at which people are prepared to make investments to reduce low-probability mortality risks. A description of the evolution of thinking on these issues can be found in The Value of Life: An Economic Analysis (Jones-Lee 1976) and in the first several chapters of Fatal Tradeoffs: Public and Private Responsibilities for Risk (Viscusi 1992). The current estimate value of $2.89 million, which the committee used to develop its order-of-magnitude cal-

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information culation, was produced for the National Safety Council (Fearn et al. 1995, 83). Key elements of these costs were developed by Miller et al. (1991) working under a DOT contract and focusing specifically on motor vehicle applications. It is clear that changes in this value by a factor of two or three will not have a major impact on the qualitative conclusion that is reached. 6. This order of magnitude argument is provided only to give a sense of the magnitude of impact that the program would need to achieve for it to be justified in economic terms. The committee has not performed a detailed benefit-cost or cost-effectiveness calculation. Nevertheless, it believes that in the long run better information for the motor vehicle design process should allow at least some safety improvements to be achieved with little or no change in the real cost of vehicles. A full calculation would need to consider possible increases in vehicle costs and consumer expenditures, the remaining consumer surplus after the incremental safety had been purchased, and possible reductions in the disposable incomes of consumers, which Keeney has pointed out can result in higher risk of mortality (Keeney 1990; Graham et al. 1992). It would also need to consider the possibility that a switch to heavier and larger cars by some consumers in response to a safety information program could have a modest impact on the mortality rates of those still driving lighter and smaller cars. However, it is important to recall that about 60 percent of fatal crashes are single-vehicle crashes and only about one-quarter of fatal crashes involve collisions between passenger vehicles or light trucks (NHTSA 1995, 54–55.) Heavier, larger cars tend to be safer in single-vehicle crashes. Moreover, the weight and size of heavy trucks and buses would not be changed by a program of consumer information. REFERENCES Abbreviations AAMA American Automobile Manufacturers Association FHWA Federal Highway Administration HEI Health Effects Institute NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NRC National Research Council PNGV Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles TRB Transportation Research Board AAMA. 1995. Motor Vehicle Facts and Figures. Detroit, Mich., 96 pp. Fearn, K.T., L. Kao, and T. Miller. 1995. Accident Facts, 1995 Edition. National Safety Council, Itasca, Ill. Graham, J.D., B. Chang, and J.S. Evans. 1992. Poorer Is Riskier. Risk Analysis, Vol. 12, pp. 333–337. HEI. 1994a. The Health Effects Institute: An Overview. Cambridge, Mass., 9 pp. HEI. 1994b. HEI Strategic Plan for Vehicle Emissions and Fuels, 1994–1998: Executive Summary. Cambridge, Mass., Aug., 4 pp.

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Shopping for Safety: Providing Consumer Automotive Safety Information Jones-Lee, M.W. 1976. The Value of Life: An Economic Analysis. University of Chicago Press. Keeney, R.L. 1990. Mortality Risks Induced by Economic Expenditures. Risk Analysis, Vol. 10, pp. 147–159. Miller, T., J. Viner, S. Rossman, N. Pindus, W. Gellert, J. Douglass, A. Dillingham, and G. Blomquist. 1991. The Costs of Highway Crashes. FHWA-RD-91-0555. U.S. Department of Transportation, Oct., 152 pp. NHTSA. 1995. Traffic Safety Facts 1994. DOT-HS-808-292. U.S. Department of Transportation, Aug. NHTSA and FHWA. 1991. Moving America More Safely. U.S. Department of Transportation, Sept., 61 pp. NRC. 1993. The Structure and Performance of the Health Effects Institute. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 154 pp. PNGV. 1994. Program Plan. U.S. Department of Commerce, July, 37 pp. TRB. 1991. Special Report 232: Advanced Vehicle and Highway Technologies. National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 90 pp. Viscusi, W.K. 1992. Fatal Tradeoffs: Public and Private Responsibilities for Risk. Oxford University Press.