NHTSA was established 50 years ago to reduce the toll of injuries and deaths on the nation's roads. But even as progress stalled, the agency cut back on key activities as part of the Trump administration's deregulatory crusade.
Andrew Warner was driving his family home from a Christmas party near Houston when they were rear-ended. Warner’s seat buckled, slamming backward and killing his infant daughter, Taylor. Seatback failures caused by rear collisions have been injuring and killing people for decades. Experts say the safety standard for seat strength is so weak that a lawn chair could pass.
General Motors has fought orders to replace allegedly defective Takata airbags in over six million of its pickup trucks and SUVs, arguing in a series of petitions that the recall is unnecessary because the airbags are safe. Four years after receiving the first of the petitions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to rule on them, leaving vehicle owners in limbo.
U.S. transportation officials are seeking to speed deployment of driverless cars by easing certain safety standards, drawing strong protest from groups who say the move is premature because the safety of the technology is unproven.
Polaris Industries, which boasts of being a global leader in sales of off-highway vehicles, also has the dubious distinction of being the No. 1 company for recalls, according to a new report.
While walking and bicycling have been promoted as ways to get healthy exercise while reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions, the death toll for pedestrians and cyclists has risen sharply. Pedestrian and bicyclist deaths are now about 20 percent of all U.S. traffic fatalities.
Drunk drivers, motorcyclists and young or distracted motorists make up the majority of those involved in fatal vehicle crashes, and many states are failing to pass key safety measures that could prevent such deaths, according to a new report by a highway safety group.
To his supporters, former air marshal Robert MacLean personifies the best traits of whistleblowers, determined to expose the government's dirty laundry, even at high personal cost. To critics, he's an obsessive and even vindictive ex-federal employee who overstepped his bounds. Now he's battling over the need for secondary barriers to keep would-be intruders from reaching the cockpit.
Without admitting liability, Toyota since 2014 has quietly settled 537 lawsuits blaming sudden unintended acceleration for crashes that caused deaths or serious injuries. Automotive safety advocates see the complaints as a sign that Toyota and federal regulators failed to properly address the root of the problem when they had the opportunity years earlier.
Grade inflation in school makes it difficult to distinguish who is actually achieving in the classroom. The federal government’s vehicle safety rating system suffers the same problem. Today, 98 percent of all vehicles tested receive four or five stars for crashworthiness. Consumer advocates and safety experts say it’s time to raise the bar for the New Car Assessment Program, which hasn’t been updated in nearly 10 years.
In Washington, D.C., a new Trump administration plan to relax safety rules for truck drivers has rekindled old heartaches for families across the country.
Federal officials concede that the death toll is an undercount. Fatalities involving some trail machines are not included.
Business groups call on well-connected lobbying firm to help thwart unwanted federal standards. They have not been disappointed.
When sued for withholding records, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has fared poorly in court.