Auto and Highway Safety

Very Safe, Except for One Thing...

Very Safe, Except for One Thing…

Legal Clash with FTC on Marketing of Used Cars

Can a used car be marketed as “safe” or “certified” even if it has defective air bags, a faulty ignition switch or other potentially lethal problems? Yes, so long as the used car dealer discloses that the vehicle may be subject to a pending safety recall. That stance, taken by the Federal Trade Commission, is…

Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates FairWarining Investigates

Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates

After a long downward trend, U.S. traffic deaths are on the rise again, and a key factor is the stubbornly high fatality toll among some of the most exposed people on the road: motorcyclists. Nevertheless, federal regulators have balked at requiring a safety measure that, many experts say, could save hundreds of bikers’ lives every…

In the Drive for Robot Cars, Will Regulators Keep Their Hands on the Wheel?

In the Drive for Robot Cars, Will Regulators Keep Their Hands on the Wheel?

Few cabinet members can claim the distinction of shaping a revolution. But that opportunity will fall to Elaine Chao, President Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Transportation. She assumes her new role at the dawn of the autonomous motor vehicle era, which promises to truly revolutionize the movement of people and goods by road…

Revisiting a Red State-Blue State Divide FairWarining Reports

Revisiting a Red State-Blue State Divide

States With Worst Highway Death Rates Favored Trump -- Why?

November’s presidential contest was bizarre in many ways, but there is one peculiarity that pundits haven’t pounced on: The states with the worst rates of traffic deaths in the country went solidly for Donald Trump while Hillary Clinton swept states with the lowest fatality rates. That odd association between traffic deaths and how states voted…

They're Everywhere! FairWarining Investigates

They’re Everywhere!

Big Companies in Legal Scrapes Turn to Science-for-Hire Giant Exponent

The Fall of Icarus is the Greek myth about a youth who gets a pair of wax-and-feather wings but soars too close to the sun–melting the wings and casting him into the sea. In the 1990s, a consulting firm called Failure Analysis Associates ran tongue-in-cheek ads aimed at corporate lawyers that retold the myth as…

The Loss of a Consumer Champion

The Loss of a Consumer Champion

In Memoriam: 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 appellation “sui…

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…