December 20, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 10

Special issue: state traffic safety laws

October 21, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 9

Truck safety in the balance as hours of service are considered

An FMSCA proposal would mandate more off-duty time for truckers and require electronic recorders. On the down side, it would increase the hours truckers can drive without a break.

Advanced driving simulator is costly, value is questionable

The government-owned National Advanced Driving Simulator is about to come online. The Institute and other critics are still asking what the point is.

Types of pedestrian crashes have changed since the 1970s

Fewer pedestrian crashes today involve people darting into the road midblock compared with the 1970s. Instead, it's more common for people to be struck by turning vehicles in intersections.

Three-point safety belt is American, not Swedish invention

Swedish authors detail the history of the three-point safety belt, invented by Americans and first installed by Swedish automaker Volvo.

September 30, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 8

Car ads focus on speed and horsepower, not safety

Consumers care about safety, but automakers undermine it by emphasizing only speed and power in their advertising.

Advertising is largely self-regulated, but some countries have limits

The content of advertisements is protected as free speech in the U.S., but other countries have more explicit standards when it comes to selling vehicles on television.

New survey looks at high DUI, death rates among some Hispanic groups

Mexican Americans have high rates of DUI violations and deaths. Institute researchers surveyed them about their drinking habits to understand why.

Flimsy SUV bumpers fail to resist damage in 5 mph crash tests

Improvements to car bumpers haven't carried over to many SUVs, which allow excessive damage in low-speed crash tests.

August 19, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 7

Special issue: driver death rates

Driver death rates for 1994-97 models encompass a huge range

The average death rate for 1997 and equivalent earlier models is 89 per million registered vehicle years, but the rate for some vehicles is up to 3 times as high.

June 17, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 6

Special issue: new federal airbag rule

Government issues new airbag standard to protect unbelted occupants

Airbags that meet a new government standard will be safer for out-of-position occupants even as they continue to provide protection in serious crashes.

Science prevails in decision to test unbelted dummies at 25 mph

The Institute agrees with the NHTSA's carefully considered decision to test with unbelted dummies at 25 mph instead of 30 mph.

May 13, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 5

Roundabouts sharply reduce crashes, study finds

Injury crashes fell by more than three-quarters after intersections with signals or stop signs were converted to roundabouts, an Institute study found.

FHWA to issue technical guide on roundabouts

The publication highlights best practices around the world and translates them in light of U.S. design standards.

Vehicle speed and pedestrian age determine crash outcomes

The faster vehicles are going when they crash with pedestrians, the more likely pedestrians are to die. Older pedestrians are more likely to die in crashes at any speed.

Mercedes-Benz model leads theft losses

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class tops the list of passenger vehicles with the highest losses for theft. Losses for the very large luxury car are 10 times the average.

April 15, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 4

Child restraints take their punches in repeated high-speed crash tests

The Institute conducted repeated 30 mph crash tests with child restraints and found that most don't need to be thrown out after a crash.

Passenger vehicles sustain huge damage in 5 mph crash tests

Among the 17 new cars whose bumpers were recently evaluated, most needed expensive repairs after low-speed crashes.

Cars with antilock brakes are no longer overinvolved in fatal crashes

Early data that showed cars with antilock brakes crashed more often remains a mystery, but the poor initial results seem to have faded.

March 11, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 3

Officials nationwide give a green light to automated enforcement

Red light cameras are proliferating across the United States. Speed cameras have been somewhat slower to catch on.

Delayed licensure in Connecticut leads to crash reductions

After Connecticut began requiring a six-month learner's permit period before licensure, the state saw an immediate decrease in crashes involving 16 year-olds.

Michigan parents support supervised driving requirement

A Michigan survey finds parents spend even more time than required supervising their teenagers' practice driving and have a favorable view of graduated licensing.

Motorists in 4 countries report differences in drinking-driving laws

Laws on drinking and driving vary, along with attitudes toward enforcement.

Zero-tolerance enforcement varies among states

California's law is easy to enforce and requires minimal paperwork from police officers.

February 19, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 2

Special issue: cosmetic repair parts

Cosmetic repair parts are irrelevant to safety

The Institute crash-tested a Toyota Camry with its front-end cosmetic parts removed. The car performed just as well as an intact Camry.

Two earlier crash tests showed crash parts don't affect safety

Crash tests of a 1987 Ford Escort and 1995 Vauxhall Astra without cosmetic parts yielded similar results to the recent Toyota Camry test.

Injecting safety into the continuing debate about cosmetic crash parts

There isn't any evidence that original-equipment parts are safer than aftermarket parts, but that hasn't stopped some people from continuing to raise the issue.

Unlike other parts used in auto repairs, hoods could influence safety

Hoods are the one type of cosmetic replacement part that could affect safety. However, there isn't much evidence that they are inferior to original-equipment hoods.

Real issue in crash parts debate is cost, not safety

The safety questions about aftermarket parts have no merit, but the money these parts save consumers is real.

January 15, 2000 |Volume 35, Number 1

New recordSmall city in upstate N.Y. achieves 90 percent belt use

The buckle-up rate in Elmira, N.Y., increased from 63 percent to 90 percent after a three-week publicity and enforcement effort that was cosponsored by the Institute.

Canadian truckers could drive 14 hours at a time under proposed rule

A proposed Canadian rule would increase truck drivers' hours on the road, despite evidence that doing so would hurt safety.

Ignition interlocks reduce rearrest rates of alcohol offenders

A study of ignition interlocks for multiple DUI offenders show they reduce rearrest rates, though only until they are removed.

Young and old drivers favor curbs on their own driving privileges

Special requirements for the youngest and oldest drivers have the support of most Americans, including those who would be affected, a recent survey found.