The human factor will always be a deterrent to achievement of 100% safety in automobiles, but new design and materials have considerably narrowed the margin of risk in highway accidents. This article considers the contributions made by the chemical industry in providing materials suitable for this purpose. Improvements in crash padding, hydraulic fluids, and gas tanks have greatly reduced injuries attributable to impact, fire, and brake failure. The close cooperation of the automotive and chemical industries is duly credited for these safety efforts. Emphasis is placed on the need for integration of inspection, driver education, highway design, and traffic laws with enforcing agencies in order to perfect overall in-use protection.