Auto and Highway Safety

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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, Fla. (Scenic America) 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 […]

Emergency workers at the site of a crash at a Cumberland Farms convenience store that took the life of Kimmy Dubuque, 43, of Chicopee, Mass., in 2010. (Greg Saulmon, courtesy of The Springfield Republican) 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 […]

iStock photo 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, […]

Big Trucks, Big Bucks FairWarining Investigates

Big Trucks, Big Bucks

Heavy-Spending Trucking Industry Pushes Congress to Relax Safety Rules

Big rig crashes kill nearly 4,000 Americans each year and injure more than 85,000. Since 2009, fatalities involving large trucks have increased 17 percent. Injuries have gone up 28 percent. Given these numbers, you might expect Congress to be agitating for tighter controls on big rigs. In fact, many members are pushing for the opposite […]

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

See update at bottom of story. 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, […]