1975-02-01

Passive vs. Active = Life vs. Death 750391

Throughout the history of public health progress, including progress in the field of crash protection for motor vehicle occupants, passive approaches have been associated with great and lasting effectiveness in terms of lives saved and injuries reduced. Active approaches, on the other hand, have been associated with far lower levels of payoff in the prevention of death and injury when humans come into contact with the potential hazards in their environments.Where motor vehicle standards have left them the latitude, auto manufacturers too often have chosen active rather than passive approaches to meeting those standards -- with predictably damaging consequences for their customers. It is essential that the public understand the basic conceptual differences between the two approaches, and be brought into the decision-making process before motor vehicle safety standards are met in ways that deny motor vehicle occupants the more effective levels and breadths of protection afforded by passive approaches.

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