Over and over, I hear the litany: “Yes, that is important (fixing a design flaw), but what we really want to do is stop crashes.”
Yes, I want to stop/prevent crashes as well. That is very important to me. But, it seems to me, such an attitude displays a lack of commitment to fixing design flaws and indicates a disregard for lives lost due to delays and inadequate improvements.
In other words, Safety Is Not REALLY a Priority and so–in my mind–there are too many people whose actions contribute to unlawful deaths. I am not trying to imply that they act knowingly & intentionally. But the end result is the same: preventable & tragic deaths.
Unfortunately, “they” apparently don’t see it that way. However, I’m quite sure that they would get it if one of their loved ones was killed by a “defective product”; money would not be an object and they would be searching day and night–just like me–to find a solution to the problem. And, just like me, designing the best possible protection as quickly as possible would become their goal.
This has been my opinion for awhile now (months which are turning into years following that tragic day: May 4, 2013)–ever since I was in a truck crash which I survived and my daughters did not (the underride guard did not prevent them from going under the truck). And I have written about it before:
- And it has been written about by others: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-16/dead-girls-mom-says-100-truck-fix-may-have-saved-them.html
But every time I run across this attitude again, it creates fresh pain and frustration. It leads to hopelessness about things ever truly changing to prevent further heartbreak, like in a phone call which I had recently where I heard it again: “We want to do something about [this defect] but we really want to prevent crashes.” I do, too. But that does not negate the importance of making vital improvements in order to make crashes–when they inevitably do occur–less likely to end in death.
Let’s not allow product liability to be treated lightly. [http://tinyurl.com/o69fgua] Somebody needs to be held responsible for NEGLIGENCE which leads to horrific injury and/or death. Before it is too late. . .
For example, read this account of the recent $150 million settlement in the death of a child, Remington Cole Walden, in a Chrysler Jeep Cherokee:
- “Fiat Chrysler notes the vehicles met safety requirements at the time they were built, and insists they are not defective.” http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/chrysler/2015/03/24/fiat-chrysler-ceo-defends-jeep-safety/70384722/
- “Chrysler has long contended that the Jeeps were no more dangerous than comparable SUVs built at the time.” “Safety advocates have called the size of the recall and the fix inadequate.” http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/04/02/jury-orders-chrysler-to-pay-150m-in-jeep-fire-death
- Jeep Cherokee Fires, Data Page: http://www.autosafety.org/jeep-grand-cherokee-fires-homepage
- Chrysler’s Response 12/13/12: http://www.autosafety.org/sites/default/files/imce_staff_uploads/EA12-005%20Chrysler%20IR%20Response%2012-13-12.pdf
- Center for Auto Safety information on the trial: http://www.autosafety.org/walden-v-chrysler-trial
- Oh, look, I JUST NOW read about another settlement. Notice the wording: “Fords’ attorneys told the jury those arguments were irrelevant, because the Escort met all federal safety standards at the time and was not defective. ” http://blog.cvn.com/breaking-ford-settles-31m-seat-belt-design-suit-avoiding-mistrial
When manufacturers are not held responsible legally or ethically for identifying and providing the best possible protection but are allowed to look the other way–sweeping the problems under a rug–then no one is truly held accountable for deaths. The result–too often–is that there is no change or the change is too little or comes too late for too many loved ones.
This careless attitude is seen in those whose reckless actions–with a disregard for the lives of others–end in crash fatalities for other reasons as well. What will it take to shake us out of our complacency? Government regulations, law enforcement, stiffer consequences for those held responsible? Death of a loved one?
AnnaLeah and Mary had their lives abruptly ended–like so many others. That is not natural. Were it not for the reckless actions of others, they, too, like Abraham and Job could have died “a ripe old age. . . and satisfied with life.” (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+15%3A15&version=NKJV and https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+25%3A8&version=NASB )
Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/