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Technical Paper

Review of the Uniform Product Liability Act

The Uniform Product Liability Act attempts to present one unified cause of action for injuries to persons and damage to property caused by products. While no state has adopted the complete text of the Act, it is indicative as a way of thinking and possible future trends. It is a valuable reading for the practicing engineers. Within the scope of this paper the summary of the Act is given.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Driver Age on Traffic Accidents

There have been numerous publications on the frequency and severity of traffic accidents as effected by age. This is a recent review of the current findings. While very old drivers have increased accident rates, the impact of their accident rate on the society is small, because they drive very short distances and thus the total number of accidents in which they are involved is low. To improve the traffic accident situation the main effort has to aim the young drivers. Due to their alcohol consumption prior to driving, their reluctance to wear seat belts and the high mileage they drive, they are one of the main causes of the high accident rates. Driver education programs aimed to improve driving skill have minimal effect on accident rates. However, driver education and law enforcement programs aimed at reducing the consumption of alcohol prior to driving and encourage the usage of seat belts could contribute to a decrease in accident rates.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Posted Speed Limits on Accident Rates; Should the Speed Limits be Increased on the Interstate Highways?

Speed is only one of several factors affecting the occurrence of accidents. For example, much of the German Autobahn does not have a speed limit, yet the traffic fatality rate is lower than the fatality rate for US Interstate Highways. The object of this paper was to review relevant accident data in order to establish a relationship between speed limits and accident rates, so as to facilitate a rational approach towards the setting of speed limits for the U.S. Interstate Highways. Our results indicate that the main parameters effecting traffic accidents are: (a) Road design, (b) Driver alcohol consumption, (c) Seat belt usage. Speed limits were found to have minimal effect on the traffic accidents. The evidence also indicates that separate speed limits for day-time and night-time as well as for dry road and wet road would enhance safety much more significantly than the enforcement of speed limits that are set too low.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Corrosion Severity at Various Geographical Locations in the United States

Vehicle corrosion costs the public billions of dollars each year. The severity of vehicle corrosion is strongly affected by the amount of salt to which the vehicles are exposed. The main sources of the salt causing vehicle corrosion are the atmosphere and road salting. Some geographical areas experience minimal corrosion problems, but in other areas the corrosion problems are more severe. Knowledge of the severity of corrosion in a given geographical area is important when decisions are made about corrosion prevention and when corrosion related recalls/modifications are initiated. The object of this paper is to review the existing literature on corrosiveness in various geographical areas and propose a rational corrosion severity map.