When a driver is operating a vehicle that is 30 years old, they are 10 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury in an auto accident than those drivers operating a newer vehicle. Car safety evolution has greatly impacted the number injuries and fatalities associated with motor vehicle collisions in the United States and, more specifically, North Carolina. Recent studies have highlighted the vast differences in the safety mechanisms and operational functions present in today’s cars compared with the lack of safety measures in many older vehicles.
Auto fatalities in the United States alone have decreased by an estimated 20 percent, much of which is attributed to the car safety evolution that has taken place. The very first versions of automobiles were first presented in the 1800’s. Since that time, the advanced safety measures present in the auto industry have served to reduce accident injury and deaths throughout the country. As more and more research has underscored the importance of vehicle safety, the auto industry has adapted to new safety procedures, policies, standards, and regulations.
The Journal of American Medical Association has provided substantial evidence of the lack of safety measures present in vehicles manufactured as recently as the 1950’s. Since that time, enormous strides have been made throughout the auto industry to improve the safety of all vehicles. Over the last 30 years, the car industry has become safer than ever before. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established following the Highway Safety Act of 1970, creating an organization which serves to educate drivers, reduce accident and injuries, and oversee national safe driving programs.
Lewis & Keller has seen vast changes in vehicle produced even within the last decade. As North Carolina’s law firm, we take our role in the community seriously and always strive to provide the most extensive, thorough legal services available. If you or a loved one has been injured in an NC auto accident, our Greensboro personal injury lawyers are prepared to take on your case today.
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Car Safety Evolution Timeline
Research from the NHTSA indicates that the state of the vehicles manufactured today is far safer than ever before. While this is a promising fact, there are still thousands of motor vehicle collisions taking place each month in North Carolina. The auto industry certainly has a ways to go before optimal safety is reached, however, car safety evolution as of yet has proven to be on a steady path of improvement for the last 30 years.
As such, Lewis & Keller has created a car safety evolution timeline to highlight the massive strides that the car industry has seen over the years. Each bullet point underscores an important event in auto history that changed safety methods forever. Thankfully, auto accidents in the United States and the entire world have slowly reduced as time has gone on and safety measures have enhanced.
- 1958: Volvo introduced the first seat belt
- 1960: To reduce injuries during head on crashes, the padded dashboard is introduced
- 1966: Anti-lock brakes are introduced to help motorists to break quickly and efficiently, especially during adverse driving conditions
- 1966: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Transportation Safety Board (BTSA) are established
- 1968: The first Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are established by the NHTSA, which made the following mandatory requirements: collapsible steering columns, should belt for occupants in the front seat, and side marker lights
- 1969: To reduce whiplash injuries, the had restrain becomes a vehicle requirement
- 1974: Driver and passenger airbags introduced by GM, although controversy circulates the damage versus good argument
- 1979: Crash-testing is introduced to the industry by the NHTSA
- 1984: New York passes a seat belt law, all 50 states would follow suit in passing a mandatory seat belt law except for New Hampshire
- 1986: Standardization of the third center brake light
- 1994: All vehicles now require crash-testing
- 2003: Crash-testing begins from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
- 2004: SUV testing to prevent rollover accidents by the NHTSA
- 2009: Roof-crush standards are advanced as the crush load requirements increased
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Car Allowance Rebate System
The car safety evolution is an excellent representation of the massive advancements that the auto industry has seen over the last few decades. As such, the U.S. government has implemented the Car Allowance Rebate System. This new federal program allows for Americans to trade in older vehicles for new, fuel-efficient cars. The $3 billion federal incentive plan has played an enormous role in getting the dangerous, older vehicles off of U.S. roadways.
Contact an Experienced NC Auto Accident Lawyer
The auto industry has a history rich with both positive and negative advancements and developments, however, today’s vehicle manufacturers are producing the safest vehicles to date. With continual science and technology advancements, more and more lives will be saved as a direct result of vehicle safety improvements. At Lewis & Keller, we perpetually support all car safety programs to reduce the number of auto accidents, injuries, and fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic crash, our Greensboro accident lawyers are here to help.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation to get started today.