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Where Safety is Not a Priority: 5 Areas Auto Regulators Should Focus On

Chicago car accident attorneyFatalities on U.S. roadways totaled 37,133 in 2017, so you might think the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would be more focused than ever on, well, traffic safety. You would be mistaken.

According to Consumer Reports, the NHTSA has devoted its recent attention to:

  • Putting a hold on fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks sold in the U.S. after the 2021 model year.
  • Scaling back on its role as a consumer safety watchdog, with investigations into automotive defects reaching an all-time low of 13 in 2017.

What the agency has not done:

  • Issued a civil penalty against an automaker since December 2015.
  • Proposed or finalized significant lifesaving vehicle safety standards in the past two and a half years.

How to Make Our Roads Safer

Consumer Reports and other advocates believe NHTSA could save lives by focusing on five areas:

  • Child safety. The agency is five years behind in implementing rules to improve child restraints in side-impact crashes and three years behind on updating rules for child restraints in frontal crashes.
  • Self-driving cars. The agency has released voluntary guidelines instead of regulations to automakers. Consumer advocates say the policy prioritizes getting cars on the market (profit) over public safety.
  • Advanced driver-assistance technology. Consumer advocates say the agency should expand its efforts to insist on the latest safety technologies, such as pedestrian detection and blind-spot warning, which are standard on all models.
  • Crash-test ratings. NHTSA has been considering changing the rating program for nearly a decade to make the information more practical. Yet the current program, which dates to the 1970s, remains in place.
  • Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. The technology would improve safety by allowing vehicles to share traffic-related information with each other and local infrastructure to make driving safer. Critics say NHTSA has failed to pave the way for widespread use of the emerging technology.

Protect Yourself After an Accident

As consumer advocates feud with government regulators, you still have to drive in Chicago. If you’ve been involved in an accident, you could be severely injured, unable to work, pay your bills or support your family – adding emotional and mental trauma to your physical and financial challenges. You may be under pressure from an insurance company to accept a lowball settlement offer because they know you are desperate for money.

Take control by contacting the Chicago car accident attorneys at Coplan & Crane. We have experience handling cases just like yours in Oak Park, Chicago, River Forest and throughout the Midwest. We know how to deal with the legal system and insurance companies. We will take the pressure off you while you focus on your healing.

Contact us today for a free case consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case.

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