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50 Years ago, 'Unsafe at any Speed' Shook the Auto World

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:26 am
by MSI
Ny Times Nov 26, 2015: 50 Years ago, 'Unsafe at Any Speed' Shook the Auto World
  • Which includes:
    • FEW DRIVERS could imagine owning a car these days that did not come with airbags, antilock brakes and seatbelts. But 50 years ago motorists went without such basic safety features.
    • That was before a young lawyer named Ralph Nader came along with a book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” that would change the auto industry. It accused automakers of failing to make cars as safe as possible. Less than a year after the book was published, a balky Congress created the federal safety agency that became the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — an agency whose stated mission is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce crashes.
    • On Nov. 30, 1965, “Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile” was published. The first sentence did not mince words: “For over half a century the automobile has brought death, injury and the most inestimable sorrow and deprivation to millions of people.”
    • By the spring of 1966, “Unsafe at Any Speed” was a best seller for nonfiction, along with Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”
    • In September 1966 — about 10 months after the book was published — President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, requiring the adoption of new or upgraded vehicle safety standards, and creating an agency to enforce them and supervise safety recalls.
We've included in our many discussions of highway safety research and computer models used in that research, such as the 1999 SAE TOPTEC on the SMAC Computer Program:
  • "In September 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the National Highway Safety Act. These established the authority to develop both the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the National Traffic Safety Agency (currently known as the NHTSA). As part of signing the legislation President Johnson stated that "auto accidents are the biggest cause of death and injury among Americans under 35". In 1965, 50,000 people were killed on the nations highways in auto accidents".
We never seen the Nadar book connected directly to the 1966 act. Interesting!

See the complete article: 50 Years ago, 'Unsafe at Any Speed' Shook the Auto World
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