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Consumer Protection

Headlight Recall Turns High Beams on GM’s Safety Vow

In the wake of the ignition-switch defect scandal, General Motors assured federal regulators that there would be a new pro-safety and pro-consumer attitude at the company. But federal safety regulators are now investigating whether the automaker has been adequately handling a recall of about 429,000 vehicles in the United States for the sudden failure of both low-beam headlights.

Transportation Safety

Blind Spots in Police Reports Hamper Efforts to Curb Deadly Crashes, Study Says

The scope of deadly hazards such as texting and drug use by drivers may be underestimated and not adequately addressed because police aren’t collecting enough information at crash scenes, according to a new report.

Public Health

Smartphone Distractions, Drinking Help Spur Rising Pedestrian Death Toll

Pedestrian deaths are surging across the nation, and analysts are putting much of the blame on drivers and walkers who are looking at their smartphones instead of watching where they are going. Tipsy walking also is part of the problem, with one in three victims legally drunk when they were struck and killed.

Consumer Protection

Very Safe, Except for One Thing…

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? In a recent legal settlement General Motors said yes, as long as the recall is disclosed. But safety advocates say otherwise.

Consumer Protection

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 year.

Commentary

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 and ultimately reduce crashes caused by driver error.

Public Health

Revisiting a Red State-Blue State Divide

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.

Consumer Protection

They’re Everywhere!

Exponent, Inc. isn't a household name, but it is a go-to destination for major industries with liability problems.

Public Health

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.

Public Health

Speed Limiters for Big Rigs

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.

Environment

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.

Consumer Protection

Critics Say Underride Fix Will Do Little to Curb Deadly Hazard

Truck underride crashes are among the most horrific collisions on the road. For decades, the federal government has required rear impact guards on many larger trucks. Yet federal estimates of the death toll from truck underride crashes have held steady at about 200 a year, and critics say the real figure actually is higher.

Consumer Protection

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.

Consumer Protection

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.