2 comments to “Researcher Says Auto Safety Measures Prevented Millions of Deaths”

  1. Louis V. Lombardo

    Thanks to Fair Warning, Dr. Robertson, and Chris Jensen for bringing public attention to this life or death or injury matter. Too many people do not recognize the importance of government safety measures.

    To clarify, the comment “Robertson’s estimate of 5.8 million lives saved over nearly a half-century is almost 10 times higher than a previous government estimate for a similar period.” The NHTSA estimate was for lives saved by motor vehicle standards while Robertson’s estimates cover many other governmental measures such as seat belt laws and highway standards. See https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812069

    In addition, there are many serious injuries that have been prevented. NHTSA has estimated that there are about 4 people who suffer, but survive, serious injuries for every fatality each year.
    See https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812013

  2. Richard Boyd

    Fair Warning, thank you for Leon Roberson’s estimate of prevented deaths.

    I take this exception to the comment about “Robertson said some of the biggest life savers were laws requiring people to buckle up. My opinion is that using laws and law enforcement delayed and continues to delay the use of seat belts.
    The “big brother” effect of opposition to unbridled authority.
    The North Wind against the Sun in Aesop’s story about removing the traveler’s cloak.

    This NY Times article discusses “Vision Zero”. Concentrating of the limits of the program.

    Your comments?


    Please consider following the “history review” used in aviation crash investigation.

    “Freeze frame rewind” of the actions of those involved in traffic related deaths.
    Rewind for at least 48 hours, with the potential for longer review times based on the 48 hour review.
    For instance, if the preliminary review discloses previous similar fatal crashes. Geography, people, weather, vehicle, road.

    This phase to be managed by people from insurance companies, funded on an ad hoc basis by state safety programs. Not law enforcement.

    Stand down, meaning no vehicle operation for those involved for the next 48 hours. Longer if the rewind indicates contributing factors.

    Contributing factors determined by a commission that includes driving instructors, human factors specialists, actuaries, civil engineers, vehicle designers, Centers for Disease Control, epidemiologists. Law enforcement to have only an advisor role, not a voting role.

    Example, train/pedestrian deaths in Yuba County, California. What were the pedestrians doing in the 48 hours before the train killed them?

    What alternate routes are available for those walking along the tracks?

    For students walking along the tracks, what opportunities are available as “teaching moments”?

    Example, fatalities at intersections controlled by signal lights.

    Is it necessary for and economist to do a benefit to cost study for the funding of the disclosure phase?

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