Auto and Highway Safety

Federal Regulators Open Investigation Amid Reports of Exhaust Fumes Wafting into Ford Explorers FairWarining Reports

Federal Regulators Open Investigation Amid Reports of Exhaust Fumes Wafting into Ford Explorers

Federal regulators are investigating a possible defect in Ford Explorers following scores of complaints about exhaust and carbon monoxide pouring into the passenger compartments of the popular SUVs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had received 154 complaints from owners of 2011 to 2015 Explorers, who reported exhaust leaks into their vehicles. According…

Critics Say Underride Fix Will Do Little to Curb Deadly Hazard FairWarining Reports

Critics Say Underride Fix Will Do Little to Curb Deadly Hazard

  Truck underride crashes are among the most horrific collisions on the road. The gruesome tragedies typically involve a car sliding under the back or side of a tractor-trailer. They have taken the lives of victims ranging from the actress Jayne Mansfield in 1967 to a pair of North Carolina teenagers on their way to…

Heat-Related Deaths of Children Left in Cars Rise, Spurring Warnings from Safety Groups FairWarining Reports

Heat-Related Deaths of Children Left in Cars Rise, Spurring Warnings from Safety Groups

Editor's note: This story was updated on June 17, 2016.

With the hottest months yet to come, 13 young children already have died in unattended cars this year in the U.S., prompting safety groups to warn parents against leaving children in vehicles for even a few minutes. Cars heat up quickly, reaching deadly temperatures in a mere 10 minutes even when the outside level is…

Growing Momentum for Self-Driving Cars Worries Safety Advocates FairWarining Reports

Growing Momentum for Self-Driving Cars Worries Safety Advocates

On Valentine’s Day in Silicon Valley, one of Google’s experimental, self-driving cars sideswiped a city bus at 2 miles an hour. The incident marked the first time an autonomous car contributed to an accident on a public road, but did nothing to diminish the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for driverless vehicles. A month after the crash,…

In 2015, Motorcycle Crashes Helped Drive Highway Death Toll to Highest Level in Years FairWarining Reports

In 2015, Motorcycle Crashes Helped Drive Highway Death Toll to Highest Level in Years

Last year was a bad one for motorcyclists, with a new estimate showing that 5,010 bikers were killed in crashes nationwide, the worst death toll in seven years. The apparent 10 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, based on an analysis by the Governors Highway Safety Association, coincided with a projected rise of about 8 percent…

How Secrecy Pacts Keep Regulators, Public in the Dark

How Secrecy Pacts Keep Regulators, Public in the Dark

For businesses that make and sell dangerous products, secrecy is a cherished ally. They work hard to prevent safety regulators and litigants from learning about their products’ hazards. One way they accomplish this is by concealing information revealed in lawsuits for those killed or injured by such products. Automobiles are often targeted in lawsuits, so…

A billboard in Sarasota, Florida FairWarining Reports

Evidence Mounts of Distraction Risks from Digital Billboards Along Roadways

Digital billboards clearly catch the eye of passing motorists. But what is also increasingly clear is that such distractions can heighten safety risks in heavy traffic and other complex driving conditions, a long-time roadway researcher says. That conclusion by Jerry Wachtel, a traffic safety consultant and one-time Federal Highway Administration staffer, came from his recent…

Regulators, Automakers Urged to Warn Parents About Flawed Seats FairWarining Investigates

Regulators, Automakers Urged to Warn Parents About Flawed Seats

Freakish as it may have seemed, the accident that killed 13-month-old Weston Kingsley was hardly unforeseeable. On the day he died in February 2014, he was buckled into his car seat behind his father, Jonathon Kingsley, who was at the wheel of the family minivan. Jonathon and his wife, Kelsey, of Old Fort, N.C., were…

Storefront Crash Suit Against Cumberland Farms Yields $32.4 Million Verdict FairWarining Reports

Storefront Crash Suit Against Cumberland Farms Yields $32.4 Million Verdict

A Massachusetts jury Tuesday awarded $32.4 million, plus interest, to the family of a woman struck and killed by an out-of-control SUV in a case that highlighted the surprisingly common phenomenon of storefront crashes. The verdict was a victory for the husband and daughter of Kimmy Dubuque of Chicopee, Mass. Dubuque was 43 when she…

Critics Fault New Highway Law for Concessions to Trucking Industry FairWarining Reports

Critics Fault New Highway Law for Concessions to Trucking Industry

*Note to reader: See update at the bottom of the story.* A $305 billion highway bill approved by Congress and signed by President Obama last week includes several provisions aggressively sought by the trucking industry that, critics say, will undermine traffic safety. The long-awaited legislation – known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST,…