NTSB issues new safety recommendations in light of recent fatal accidents
Seat belts save lives. Using one is "the single most effective way" drivers can prevent death in a car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government agency charged with keeping motorists out of harm's way.
Violators could face animal cruelty charges, according to proposal
New Jersey lawmakers sure are spending considerable time thinking about drivers and driving. Earlier this year, a state senator proposed a bill to fine slow drivers. Lawmakers also argued over whether to affix a red sticker on the license plates of younger drivers. Only last week, the state enacted a ban on smiling in driver's license photos.
General Motors, like all automakers, is constantly researching new means of keeping its customers safe. One of the primary lines of defense inside an automobile is the seatbelt, and GM has fitted some select vehicles with an updated latch system that gives engineers greater control over tensioner tuning. It's this increased level of control and tunability that has helped a handful of General Motors vehicles retain their five-star crash safety ratings, even as the tests get tougher.
There's no easy way to say this, America: You're getting fatter and older every year. Over a quarter of the population is obese, and the rate of obesity increases 0.5 percent each year. The amount of folks aged 65 and up currently stands at 40 million, but that number will increase to nearly 90 million by 2050. What does any of this have to do with automobiles? A lot – if you're a safety engineer.
According to the Center for Disease Control, seatbelt use among American adults is at an all-time high. In a recent study, 85 percent of those surveyed said that they wear their seatbelts regularly. That number is up from just 11 percent in 1982, though the CDC points out that at least one in every seven adults still don't wear their seatbelts on the road. That's despite evidence that points to automotive accidents as the number one cause of death in the U.S. among people aged 5 to 34.
Now it's just New Hampshire. For decades, any effort in Georgia to require universal seatbelt use couldn't get passed – such matters would just get stuck in the throat of the House by extra-regulation-resistant rural lawmakers. The consistent rejection kept pickup truck driving adults from being legally required to buckle up, an exemption that drove safety advocates up the wall.
Drivers and front-seat passengers in Florida may be cited for not wearing seat belts when a new law takes effect on June 30. Known as a "primary" seat belt law, the law allows enforcement officers to pull vehicles over solely for a belt violation (a "secondary" seat belt law requires another infraction to take place before a ticket may be issued). Florida is only the 28th state to enact a primary seat belt law, while the remainder have secondary laws and New Hampshire has no seatbelt law whatsoe
with ample chests often find typical over-the-shoulder three-point safety belts (a.k.a. “seatbelts”) rather
uncomfortable. Think about it – there’s a wide nylon strap stretched across your breasts that gets tighter
and tighter with every tap of the brakes. It’s practically bondage on wheels.