Tag Archives: auto safety

Center for Auto Safety seeks Exec. Dir. to replace the late Clarence Ditlow’s work in auto safety advocacy.

The Center for Auto Safety is seeking an individual to replace the late Clarence Ditlow’s important work in auto safety advocacy.

Safety leaders gathered in January to honor the more than 40 years of work by Clarence M. Ditlow III in saving millions of Americans from death and injuries from vehicle violence. Joan Claybrook announced a goal of raising $5 million to continue Clarence’s work at the Center for Auto Safety (CAS).1

In a brief video Clarence, introduced by Ralph Nader, summarized his successful strategy to advance safety and consumer protection by establishing legal rights and remedies for the people and the legal profession. . . 

The Center for Auto Safety is seeking an Executive Director

The job description reveals some of what Clarence did and what it took to accomplish.

Clarence is irreplaceable, but his work leaves a legacy of what to do to defend the American people against future vehicle violence. His pioneering work points to how to achieve further advances in safety and justice.

Doing Our Part

The American people need us to help grow a network of lawyers, crash victims (past, present, and future) and survivors, and consumer advocates to help fund and advance Clarence’s work. The stories of crash victims and their families need to be heard and heeded. To be heeded our voices need to be organized for effectiveness.

Think of a network of people who join together to continue Clarence’s work to stop the currently endless tragedies. We can help organize to build a more just and safer America.4

Send checks payable to the Ditlow Fund for Auto Safety using the Pledge form. Suggested donations: $35 to $5,000.

Center for Auto Safety’s Ditlow Fund Networking to Save Lives, by Lou Lombardo, Legal Reader, February 13, 2017

Cover of Car Safety Wars by Michael Lemov

The battles are not finished; the work for safer roads must continue.

“Clarence Ditlow’s long, hard & great work for safety for more more than 4 decades made us all safer.”

I never met Clarence Ditlow but have heard so much about all that he did for auto safety. I am sad to have to pass along the news of his recent death. . .

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

I am beyond sad to pass along this announcement of a tragic loss for humanity.  Clarence’s long, hard and great work for safety for more more than 4 decades made us all safer.
“November 11, 2016

Clarence M. Ditlow, III, the Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety since 1976, died on November 10 at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington. He was 72 years old.

Spanning four decades, his work forced the auto industry to make vast improvements in the safety, reliability and fuel efficiency of the vehicles on which Americans depend daily.

His accomplishments included safety recalls of tens of millions of vehicles that saved untold thousands of lives, and lemon laws in all 50 states.  Since the center was founded in 1970, the death rate on America’s roads has dropped dramatically, from 5.2 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 1969 to 1.1 per 100 million vehicle miles in 2010. Ralph Nader and Consumers Union established the Center to provide consumers a voice for auto safety and quality in Washington and to help owners of “lemon” vehicles fight back across the country.

Under Mr. Ditlow, the Center played a major role in these recalls, among others: 6.7 million Chevrolets for defective engine mounts, 15 million Firestone 500 tires, 1.5 million Ford Pintos for exploding gas tanks, and 3 million Evenflo child seats for defective latches.

In the past seven years alone, the Center was the primary force behind the recalls of 7 million Toyotas for sudden acceleration, 2 million Jeeps for fuel tank fires, 11 million GM vehicles for defective ignition switches, and more than 60 million faulty Takata airbag inflators.”

Time magazine’s cover of October 17, 2016 has a centuries old quote of wisdom and insight: “Whoever saves one life, saves all of humanity”.

Clarence’s work has saved and continues to save countless lives.

See tribute to this safety leader at https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-tributeditlowmarkey.php [with video at https://youtu.be/TiYi2zjEp5c?t=5h4m45s ].

Lou Lombardo

Never forgotten

“Ensuring the Safe Design of Autonomous Vehicles; Suggestions to Help Resolve the Issues”

Byron Bloch has made many contributions to knowledge about vehicle safety. Here is one more endeavor on his part to make the roads safer — this time related to autonomous vehicles.

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Byron Bloch participated in the recent “Autonomous Vehicle Safety Regulation World Congress” held in Novi, Michigan and provided attendees with useful information to lawyers, engineers, and policy makers as autonomous vehicle development proceeds.

With Byron’s permission, his material is attached for your use.

Lou Lombardo

Ensuring the Safe Design of Autonomous Vehicles;
Suggestions to Help Resolve the Issues
by Byron Bloch, Auto Safety Design, Potomac, Maryland, USA
Autonomous Vehicle Safety Regulation World Congress
Novi, Michigan — October 25-26, 2016

autonomous-vehicles-detrot-ukip-media1

Byron closes with this thought:

LET’S STAY IN COMMUNICATION — As this emerging new area of automated systems and fully autonomous vehicles continues its rapid development and promotion, it will be important to stay in communication, to exchange issues and ideas, to continue in a constructive dialogue with each other.

Perhaps you design or test or install automated systems for vehicles, or manufacture autonomous vehicles, or operate them, or are in Federal or State agencies that regulate transportation and related activities. It is constructive for us all to work toward the Vision Zero goal of eliminating vehicle-related fatalities of drivers and passengers, and of pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users. We must act together as a rational, compassionate society to help prevent such needless tragedies.

I would suggest that a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman would be the most logical person to facilitate that kind of essential communication. Let’s not leave it to chance.

Are you listening, President Obama?

Pres. Obama, sign this Exec. Order–while you still can–to protect people from violent vehicle deaths!

IMG_4460DOT Policy Officials Group Photo March 4, 2016

IIHS does valuable work to advance vehicle safety through crash test ratings. Large trucks included.

Here’s a recent article on the value of IIHS challenges to automotive companies: Safety institute seeks balance in frontal crash tests

The challenge mentioned here is for car companies to address the need for occupant protection on the passenger side as well as the driver side in frontal crashes. Duh!

As a mom of nine — although they are now grown — it seems commonsense to me to provide occupant protection throughout the entire vehicle! Including protection for passengers from seatback failures.

I am thankful for the valuable work which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does to advance vehicle safety through their crash test ratings. That includes large trucks.

I hope to see a 5-star crash rating system for the underride protection system on large trucks soon. It could mean the difference between life and death for someone.

IMG_4464If onlyUnderride Roundtable May 5, 2016 008Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 007Roundtable Display TableUnderride Roundtable May 5, 2016 169Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 080Underride Roundtable TimelineButterfly girls and birds 013Never forgotten

“How To Get A Blind-Spot Monitoring System — For Free”

Take a look at this Forbes article to find out about a safety tip which could benefit you. Thanks for sharing it, Lou.

Having just read it, my first reaction is, “If I were the Traffic Safety Ombudsman, I would raise awareness about this FREE safety technique which, if replaced with an electronic device, could cost you $1,000. I would push to get this information in driver’s manuals, driver education classes, and as part of written exams for driver’s licenses.”

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

 

A good article on how people can avoid blind spot accidents has been published by Forbes.

 

This is a Mirror Adjustment technique that I have used for decades and have taught my children and grandchildren.  See

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How We Can Protect Children From Dying in Hot Cars? To err is to be human. But we can do this.

I had read a blogpost before by a parent who had lost a child in a hot car death. And recently I have heard about the increase of such deaths and the push to get doable solutions to reduce these horrible tragedies.

Then I read an article today by Janette Fennell, director of KidsAndCars.org, who mentioned the need for parent education but along with other solutions:

. . . education is not enough. We cannot educate every single parent, grandparent, babysitter and caregiver in the country. And most parents don’t believe that the worst mistake a parent can make could happen to them. But blaming them only deepens the heart-rending impact of these incidents for families who are already overwhelmed by guilt and grief. To err is to be human. How We Can Protect Children From Dying in Hot Cars

Reading that immediately brought to mind the days and weeks after our truck underride crash, on May 4, 2013 (a date embedded in my mind) in which we lost AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13). I was in the hospital myself for almost a week and due to the circumstances it was some time before I heard the news that AnnaLeah had died instantly and later the news that Mary had died due to her injuries.

When I did find out, I can’t really describe it for you to fully grasp, but I just wanted it to be me instead of them. “Why couldn’t it have been me? They had so much life yet to live. Let me take their place.” But, of course, nothing was going to change the awful reality. They were gone. They would never come back.

And, as I learned the circumstances of the crash, that a truck had hit us spinning us around and hitting us again — sending us backwards into the back of another truck (whose weak, ineffective underride guard failed) and AnnaLeah & Mary in the back seat took the brunt of it, their bodies broken by the truck — I wanted it to have been me. [Especially since I had been driving and if we had simply rear-ended the truck, it would have been me that died.]

They were totally innocent; they had done nothing to deserve their lives to be snatched senselessly from them. I wasn’t sure that I could bear going on living with the knowledge that they were gone and I had lived.

Let it be me, Lord.

I think of that now — knowing that I was not responsible for their deaths (although I could have left the restaurant 5 minutes sooner and not been in that place at that time). And then I try to imagine the guilt those parents must feel for having left their child in a car — even though they did not do it on purpose. On top of the ongoing grief which will be a daily part of their lives.

Makes my heart break.

Today, I read another article by a professor of cognitive and neural sciences who has been researching this problem for some time now and says that it is a problem of habit memory taking over — especially when parents are stressed and sleep-deprived and. . . well, read more here to understand what could happen to any of us:

An epidemic of children dying in hot cars: a tragedy that can be prevented by David Diamond, June 20, 2016

Oh, my goodness! I just read a couple of the comments on this article. One person commented that it was high time that we make use of technology which could make these tragedies a thing of the past. The other person was disgusted that they would be expected to foot the bill for a feature that they would never make use of just to make up for “negligent parents!”

That attitude makes my blood boil!

I’m glad to see that one manufacturer has put a solution into one of their new cars:

This year, one manufacturer, GMC, finally stepped up and included a reminder system in one of their 2017 models. Just one vehicle, the Acadia, in the entire United States being sold will have a reminder system. GM unveils new feature to prevent child deaths in hot cars

But what about the rest of their models? And what about the rest of the car companies? What kind of society are we that would think it is okay to remind ourselves (and our consumers) that we forgot to turn off our lights (so our battery doesn’t get worn down) but refuse to pay the cost to protect innocent lives from being tragically ended?

Is it going to take a federal mandate to require manufacturers to put the available technology into every car? Is this one more safety matter that the industry would successfully block and declare that it is “not cost effective” because too few lives would be saved compared to the costs?

Another situation of preventable tragedies.

What will be the outcome, America? Will we do what is right? Will we be compassionate?

Hot car deaths

 

Auto Safety Advocates Tell Obama To Stop Rush To Get Self-Driving Cars On Road

So, here’s a real-life scenario. What might a Traffic Safety Ombudsman do in this situation?

Auto Safety Advocates Tell Obama To Stop Rush To  Get Self-Driving Cars On Road; Pull Back Autonomous Vehicle Technology ‘Guidance’ Expected Next Week http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/newsrelease/auto-safety-advocates-tell-obama-stop-rush-get-self-driving-cars-road-pull-back-autonomo

A coalition of auto safety advocates today called on President Obama to stop his “administration’s undue haste to get autonomous vehicle technology to the road” until enforceable safety standards are in place.  They said the administration’s autonomous vehicle “guidance” expected next week should not be issued. . .

“If the manufacturers, including the high-tech companies, lack the confidence in their products to stand behind them and assume responsibility and liability when the systems they design are in control, and innocent people are injured or killed as a result, those vehicles do not belong on the road,” the letter said.

“The administration should not succumb to Silicon Valley hype about the miracles of autonomous vehicle technology. Autonomous vehicle technologies hold the promise of improving safety. But that promise can only be realized after thorough testing and a public rulemaking process that results in enforceable standards” the letter concluded. 

Consumer Watchdog Letter to Obama:  http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrobamaav071316.pdf

Indeed. Make SAFETY a priority. Once someone dies in a crash, they never come back.

2 crash deaths

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

PLEASE NOTE: If you sign the petition, be sure to go to your email. We the People will send you an email which will say this in the subject line:  “Almost done! Verify your Petitions.WhiteHouse.gov account.” Follow the instructions to verify your signature.

 

Draft Dem. Platform: “Ensure Health & Safety…Gun Violence Prevention” But NOT Vehicle Violence

See the latest road safety message from Lou Lombardo:

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

 The DRAFT Democrat Platform contains the following subjects:

“Ensure the Health and Safety of All Americans

  • Universal Health Care 
  • Community Health Centers
  • Prescription Drug Costs
  • Medical Research
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction
  • Mental Health
  • Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice
  • Public Health
  • Violence Against Women and Sexual Assault
  • Gun Violence Prevention” 

On page 25 one can read:

“Gun Violence Prevention

 With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe.

We will expand background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws, hold irresponsible dealers and manufacturers accountable, keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons—off our streets, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and those  with severe mental health issues.”

 Hmnn…. Both are important.

But NHTSA has recorded a 9.3 % increase in [crash] fatalities in early 2015 to a level of nearly 35,000 Americans dying every year now.

In addition, every day nearly twice as many Americans suffer serious injuries such as brain and spinal cord paralysis due to vehicle violence than to gun violence.  See
http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-GunViolenceandVehicleViolenceThoughtsonFathersDay2016.php

So why are Democrats so silent on ending vehicle violence?

 Campaign finance money?

 Automotive (Dems & Reps): $15 million See https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/

Gun Control (Dems): $1.7 million in 2015   See  https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=Q12Gun Rights (Republicans): $11 million in 2015  See  https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=Q13

So what are Americans who are concerned with ending vehicle violence to do this election year?

 Lou Lombardo

So why am I not surprised? This has got to change!

See my previous post on President Obama’s apparent perspective on vehicle violence: Obama (6/1/16): “We used to have really bad auto fatality rates. . .” And we don’t NOW?!

Mad Mary

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

PLEASE NOTE: If you sign the petition, be sure to go to your email. We the People will send you an email which will say this in the subject line:  “Almost done! Verify your Petitions.WhiteHouse.gov account.” Follow the instructions to verify your signature.

Traffic Safety Ombudsman Message: Hoping the White House Can Hear My Plea! @POTUS #VisionZero

August 3 UPDATE: The petition on the White House site is expired. Please sign our new Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition at Care2;  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/384/321/600/end-preventable-crash-fatalities-appoint-a-national-traffic-safety-ombudsman/

Getting the message out loud & clear with multiple Tweets (loaded with links) to

End Preventable Crash Fatalities: Appoint a Traffic Safety Ombudsman!

What are we waiting for

An Advocate for a Safer America: Have you signed the Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition yet?

August 3 UPDATE: The petition on the White House site is expired. Please sign our new Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition at Care2;  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/384/321/600/end-preventable-crash-fatalities-appoint-a-national-traffic-safety-ombudsman/

We are asking for 100,000 Americans to sign our new Traffic Safety Ombudsman petition on WhiteHouse petition site. Once we get 150 signatures, it will become searchable on their website.

If we are able to get 100,000 signatures in 30 days — by July 31, then the White House has promised that they will respond to our new petition, which calls on President Obama to appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman, who will be an Advocate for Safer Roads.

Why on earth am I asking for another government-funded worker — a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman? And whatever would that person do anyway? Read more here:

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

PLEASE NOTE: If you sign the petition, be sure to go to your email. We the People will send you an email which will say this in the subject line:  “Almost done! Verify your Petitions.WhiteHouse.gov account.” Follow the instructions to verify your signature.

 

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