Browse Publications Books R-404

Occupant Protection and Automobile Safety in the U.S. since 1900 R-404

This book provides a historical review of safety features appearing on passenger cars that have been produced for sale in the U.S. from 1900 to the present. A main theme throughout is the impact the automobile has made on society, with particular emphasis on accidents and loss of life. Another theme is the technological advances that have contributed to safer driving.

Even though the author details the technical details of the major safety-related components of automobiles, the book is written for anyone with an interest in the workings of motor vehicles. Topics include:

  • events driving the implementation of specific safety features
  • government involvement and legislative actions
  • effects of mandated and non-mandated implementation
  • effects of safety technologies on annual passenger deaths
  • technical details of specific innovations
  • development of crash protection testing standards

Each of the five chapters covers a different period in the evolution of passenger cars. They include detailed descriptions of technologies and advancements that have directly contributed to the production, operation, and crash-survivability improvements made to automobiles. Also included are commentaries relating to influences of political and industry-driven initiatives, consumer reactions, and apparent effects of these influences on annual fatality rates.


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