May 15, 2013

Work of VRTC Ensures that Car Accident Fatality Numbers Continue to Wane

by Levin & Perconti

Have you ever wondered what happens to your car before you drive it off the lot? Well if you haven’t that’s fine, because I’m here to tell you. Before they can be approved for distribution to consumers, the vehicles that you and I drive each day have to go through and extensive screening process to ensure that they are safe to operate. Our accident lawyers want to give you a brief look at this process, as well as the multitude of factors that add up to a safe vehicle.

Whenever you get from point A to point B without a hitch, the Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) is the institution you should thank. This federal research facility is run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and conducts research and vehicle tests with the goal of saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing health care and other economic costs. Research and testing can cover anything from crash avoidance and crash worthiness, to biomechanics, and is a crucial component of improving vehicle performance and consumer crash avoidance. This body is both proactive and reactive, as it also investigates potential safety defects in vehicles that have already been distributed.

The VRTC is comprised of three main divisions:
1. The Pedestrian and Applied Biomechanics Division
This division includes biomechanics, occupant protection, and research using crash dummies for development and evaluation.
2. The Vehicle Stability and Control Division
This division covers things like vehicle handling, brake systems, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), and driver behavior. They conduct vehicle dynamics simulations, and do research that is very important for large mass trucking accidents.
3. The Defects Analysis and Crashworthiness Division
The final division is primarily concerned with how well a driver would be protected by a car in the event of an accident. This means testing vehicle structural integrity, occupant protection, and conducting crash tests, and includes reactive automotive defect investigation. (NHTSA)

From the earlier 1980’s all the way up to about 2007, the number of people killed in auto accidents routinely eclipsed 40,0000 people. However, the hard work of the men and woman at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have done great things for driver safety, and we have seen the number of deaths dip as low as 30,000 in 2011. The count of vehicle related fatalities continue to wane in 2013, and an early estimate speculated that last years numbers could be down in the 20,000 range. (Department of Transportation)

As lawyers with over 150 years of combined experience handling Chicago car accident cases, we have the tools to make sure you are treated fairly and receive the compensation you deserve. Catastrophic injury is something no one should have to face alone, and we are here to ensure you don’t have to.