Improving Automotive Safety: The Role of Industry, the Government, and the Driver

by Kenneth A. Solomon, Penny E. Perkins, Susan A. Resetar

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This paper identifies three groups that can improve automotive safety: the automotive industry, by designing into cars such safety devices as seat belts, roll bars, or air bags; the government, by taking such measures as improving road conditions, enforcing seat belt usage laws or enforcing stricter anti-drunk-driving laws; and, finally, the driver, by adopting driving habits such as wearing seat belts and not driving while intoxicated. Of the seven strategies they identified for improving automotive safety, the authors argue that "as low as reasonably achievable" (ALARA) is the most applicable risk reduction strategy within the context of improving automotive safety. By applying the ALARA principle to past and proposed safety improvements, they demonstrate that the most lives saved per dollar spent would occur if drivers modified their driving habits.

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