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SAFETEA Title IV will save thousands of lives


  • A new roof crush resistance standard: 1,400 deaths and 2,300 severe injuries, including paraplegia and quadriplegia, would be prevented each year by a more stringent standard.[1]
  • Improved head protection and side air bags: 1,200 lives saved and 975 serious head injuries prevented, by a new requirement each year.[2]
  • Side window glazing (“safety glass”): A requirement would save 1,305 lives and prevent 575 major injuries each year.[3]
  • Upgrade to door locks and latches standard: An upgrade would help to prevent hundreds of the 2,500 door-related ejection deaths each year.[4]
  • Rollover prevention standard that evaluates the use of electronic stability control (ESC):   Studies estimate ESC reduces deaths and injuries by as much as one-third by preventing crashes from occurring, and could save as many as 2,100 lives a year in rollover crashes alone.[5]
  • Compatibility rules for light trucks: NHTSA estimates 1,000 lives/year could be saved.[6]
  • Stronger seatback design: 400 lives saved and 1,000 serious injuries prevented, each year.[7]
  • Effective seat belt reminders in all seats: 900 lives each year would be saved by such a requirement.[8]
  • Applying new vehicles safety standards to vehicles up to 10,000 lbs.: Would save hundreds of lives— some safety standards, such as the one for roof crush resistance, currently apply only to vehicles below 6,000 lbs., omitting the heaviest and most dangerous SUVs and trucks.


[1]Plungis, Jeff. “Lax auto safety rules cost thousands of lives.” DetroitNews 3 March 2002.

[2]“NHTSA’s New Head Protection Rule Puts New Technology on Fast Track.” Press Release. Washington: NHTSA, 30 July 1998.

[3]Willke, Donald; Stephen Summers; Jing Wang; John Lee; Susan Partyka; Stephen Duffy. Ejection Mitigation Using Advanced Glazing: Status Report II. Washington: NHTSA and Transportation Research Center, August 1999.

[4]Plungis, Jeff. “Lax auto safety rules cost thousands of lives.” Detroit News 3 March 2002.

[5]Schöpf, Hans-Joachim. (2002). Analysis of Crash Statistics Mercedes Passenger Cars Are Involved In Fewer Accidents. Germany: DaimlerChrysler AG. 11.

[6]Joksch, Hans. Fatality Risks in Collisions Between Cars and Light Trucks. Final Report. Ann Arbor: Transportation Research Institute, Sept 1998.

[7]Plungis, Jeff. “Lax auto safety rules cost thousands of lives.” Detroit News 3 March 2002.

[8]The UCS Guardian & Guardian XSE: A Blue Print For A Better SUV. Washington: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2003. www.suvsolutions.org/blueprint.asp.