Auto and Highway Safety

Courtesy of iStock FairWarining Investigates

Collision Course: With Wary Eye on Big Trucks, Bike Riders Seek Safe Space on City Streets

On a July afternoon in New Orleans last year, Philip Geeck was riding his bicycle in a marked bike lane on a busy street. Approaching an intersection, he came up alongside a tractor-trailer truck hauling a tank of chemicals. Geeck, 52, was at the 18-wheeler’s midpoint when suddenly, without signaling, the truck began to turn […]

A fatal motorcycle accident in San Diego County on Jan. 30, 2011. (CAL FIRE San Diego) FairWarining Reports

Feds Want to Run Flimsy Motorcycle Helmets Off the Road

After years of inaction, federal regulators are trying to crack down on the use of cheap novelty helmets linked to thousands of motorcycle crash deaths and injuries in recent years. The novelty helmets do not comply with federal safety standards, and provide little or no protection against head injuries in a crash. Still, as FairWarning […]

(iStock Photo) FairWarining Reports

Used Car Startups Do a Wheelie Around Consumer Protection Rules

Minnie Ingersoll’s San Francisco startup Shift looks and acts like an online used car dealer. It advertises cars for sale on its website and makes money when one is sold. But if you ask Ingersoll what Shift is, she insists, “We’re not trying to be a dealer.” Venture capitalists have invested $23.5 million into Shift […]

March, 2011 crash at a 7-Eleven store in Midland, Texas (Photo by Roger Primera) FairWarining Reports

Bread, Milk and Mayhem II

Spurred by deadly crashes involving cars plunging into stores, day care centers and other sites, a California lawmaker has introduced a bill to prod commercial property owners to install special safety barriers. The measure, if approved, would give California the nation’s first state law encouraging wider use of bollards, a type of barrier already found […]

A billboard in Sarasota, Fla. (Scenic America) FairWarining Reports

Highway Agency Takes a Hit Over Safety Report on Electronic Billboards

Why did the billboard cross the road? It sounds like the opening line of a corny joke, but it’s actually a question raised by a baffling glitch in a Federal Highway Administration study on the safety of electronic billboards. Billboards that seem magically to have moved from one side of the highway to the other […]

March, 2011 crash at a 7-Eleven store in Midland, Texas. (Photo by Roger Primera). FairWarining Reports

Green Light for Effort to Prevent Storefront Car Crashes

Almost every day, somewhere in the U.S., a car jumps over a curb and smashes into a convenience store, coffee shop or restaurant. Some of these crashes hurt or kill innocent bystanders, while also causing millions of dollars in property damage. As FairWarning has reported, many safety experts say that for a modest cost – […]

iStock photo.

Older Cars Left Behind When Safety Motors Ahead

Federal auto safety regulations cover new cars, of course. But what about older cars? Of the more than 250 million vehicles on the roads, three-quarters are more than five years old, according to the data firm IHS Automotive, and more than 50 million are pre-1999 models. They met the government’s safety rules when they were […]

March, 2011 crash at a 7-Eleven store in Midland, Texas (Photo by Roger Primera) FairWarining Investigates

Bread, Milk and Mayhem

Storefront Crashes More Common Than You Think, and Often Preventable

Just as Kimmy Dubuque was about to enter a Cumberland Farms convenience store to get a cup of coffee, she was struck and killed by an SUV. Police said the SUV, driven by an 81-year-old man who suffered a stroke, had sped through the parking lot of the Chicopee, Mass., store and smashed into the […]

The GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. Photo courtesy Carlos Osorio, AP Photo.

GM Ignition Switch Scandal Echoes Infamous Fire-Prone Pickups Case

Recent disclosures about the ignition switch defect in millions of General Motors cars–and the company’s early and secret knowledge of the hazard–are disturbing by themselves. But they are also an eerie echo of the terrible carnage from an earlier, even bigger safety scandal involving millions of fire-prone GM pickup trucks. Thanks to a bailout from […]

GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra testifies during a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington April 1, 2014. Congress is trying to establish who is to blame for at least 13 auto-related deaths over the past decade, as public hearings are held over two days on General Motors Co's slow response to defective ignition switches in cars.

Like Them or Hate Them, Injury Lawsuits Sometimes Expose Health and Safety Hazards

The scandal over General Motors’ concealment for more than a decade of dangerously defective ignition switches in some of its cars highlights an often-overlooked fact: Injury lawsuits sometimes reveal health and safety hazards that would otherwise remain secret. As Ben Kelley notes, the deadly ignition defects were not exposed by engineers for GM or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but by an engineer for plaintiffs in a wrongful-death suit.