Vehicle manufacturers faced with claims of injury due to design defects vociferously proclaim that their designs are safe. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), within the U.S. Department of Transportation, issued an 85-page report last week finding that "better-designed" vehicles are safer and lead to declines in crashes, deaths and injuries on American roadways. The NHTSA report, [download An Analysis of Recent Improvements to Vehicle Safety June 2012] is an analysis of police-reported crash data and concludes that "design improvements" between 2000 and 2008 have "saved 2,000 lives and prevented one million occupant injuries in the 2008 calendar year alone."
Why do the manufactures continue to deny that their designs can in fact be defective when improvements in design decrease serious injuries and deaths? Why is NHTSA "laser-focused on continuing to improve safety" if auto and truck designs are as safe as the manufacturers insist? Trial lawyers don't make this stuff up.
"We expect this trend to continue as automakers add advanced safety features to their fleets and continue to improve vehicle designs to earn top safety ratings under our newly updated 5-Star crash-test program," said David Strickland, NHTSA Administrator. If the manufactuers chase 5-star ratings, it must be because they in fact realize that their designs can be risky if not extremely dangerous.