Auto and Highway Safety

The Loss of a Consumer Champion

The Loss of a Consumer Champion

In Memoriam: Clarence Ditlow Clarence Ditlow, the long-time head of the Center for Auto Safety, died last week at the age of 72. His passing triggered an outpouring of tributes from colleagues, friends and others, including these: Ben Kelley, board member of the Center for Auto Safety: There are very few activists who deserve the…

Death Toll Climbs for Walkers and Cyclists as Traffic Safety Measures Take a Back Seat FairWarining Reports

Death Toll Climbs for Walkers and Cyclists as Traffic Safety Measures Take a Back Seat

More Americans are bicycling or walking to work these days, getting healthy exercise and doing their bit to reduce traffic and air pollution. But with little government investment in safety measures, such as protected bike lanes and sidewalks, more cyclists and pedestrians also are getting killed. Fatalities jumped nationally last year among bicyclists, rising 12.2…

Speed Limiters for Big Rigs FairWarining Reports

Speed Limiters for Big Rigs

After Moving at a Crawl, U.S. Revs Up Interest in Slowing Heavy Trucks and Buses

For more than a decade, most large commercial trucks have been equipped with electronic technology that can limit the speed at which they hurtle down the nation’s highways. But federal officials have not required the devices to be switched on, despite requests by safety advocates as well as by the industry’s top trade group, the…

Miles to Go on Highway Safety

Miles to Go on Highway Safety

The 50th anniversary of federal auto safety regulation approaches, but there’s not much to celebrate. Signing the regulatory laws on Sept. 9, 1966, President Johnson predicted they would “cure the highway disease.”  They haven’t. The “disease” was a deadly pandemic, and still is. The year the laws were passed, some 50,000 people were killed in…

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…