The Nut Behind the Wheel: Shifting Responsibilities for Traffic Safety Since 1895

Daniel M. Albert

in Silent Victories

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195150698
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865185 | DOI:
 The Nut Behind the Wheel: Shifting Responsibilities for Traffic Safety Since 1895

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This chapter sets the science of safety within a historical context, revealing how permeable the boundary between science and society has been in dealing with auto safety. Over the 20th century the focus of improving safety has sometimes emphasized regulating cars, while at other times controlling drivers. Initially, the democratization of car ownership led to a focus on the driver; after World War II there arose more concern with crash survivability, and automobile and road design. Toward the end of the 20th century, concern for unsafe drivers—drunk-driving, unsafe and undertrained teenage drivers, aggressive driving, and so forth—reemerged as an important factor in reducing vehicular death and injury.

Keywords: traffic safety; automobile design; driver education; drunk-driving; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; MADD; Ralph Nader; Northwestern University Traffic Institute; NUTI; National Safety Council; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Chapter.  8179 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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