As consumers whenever we buy a product, we do so in good faith that its manufacturer and distributors have taken the necessary steps to ensure our safety, and the automotive industry is no different. In the United States, before a company’s vehicles can be approved for distribution to consumers, they must go through an extensive screening process to ensure that they are safe to operate. Our lawyers have fought and won a number of cases against negligent manufacturers and distributors, and we are proud of the important role that our legal team has played in holding companies accountable for the products they produce and distribute. What follows is a brief description of the quality control and safety process that every automobile must undergo to be sold in the U.S., to give you a better idea of the multitude of factors that add up to a safe vehicle.
We often take the reliability of our cars for granted, but every time 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 expenses and other economic costs. Research and testing generally covers anything from crash avoidance and crash worthiness, to biomechanics, all of which are crucial components in improving vehicle performance and protecting vehicle occupants. As a regulatory body, the VRTC is both proactive and reactive, and 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 includes biomechanics, occupant protection, and research using crash dummies for development and evaluation.
2. The Vehicle Stability and Control Division
This division covers vehicle handling, brake systems, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), and driver behavior. Researchers in this department 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 will be protected by their vehicle in the event of an accident. This means testing the structural integrity of each automobile, analyzing capacity for occupant protection, crash tests, and conducting reactive automotive defect investigation. (NHTSA)
For much of the late 20th century, the number of people killed annually in motor vehicle accidents routinely eclipsed 40,0000 people. However, quality control and safety processes like these have done great things for driver safety, and strong personal injury and product liability laws have given victims an avenue to seek compensation for injuries caused by defects and negligence. As lawyers with over 150 years of combined experience handling Chicago car accident lawsuits, we have the tools to make sure you are treated fairly and receive the compensation you deserve. The deleterious effects of wrongful injuries can be life changing, and this is something no one should have to face alone. If you have been injured because of a defective product or negligent manufacturer, call our attorneys any time to explore your legal options.