This year, we recognize 49 years of improved safety in the automotive industry. On June 24, 1966, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was enacted. This bill allowed the federal government to administer new safety standards for motor vehicles and eventually led to the creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) we know today.
Throughout the early 1960s, the public became increasingly more and more concerned over the skyrocketing number of motor-vehicle related fatalities. With the passage of this law, new safety features were added to cars, including head rests, energy-absorbing steering wheels, seat belts, shatter-resistant windshields, and more.
In addition, roads were improved for superior safety as well. Edge and center line stripes and reflectors were added to help drivers better determine a road’s curves. Breakaway sign and utility poles and guardrails were also added.
A third factor, behavior changes in drivers also improved safety. Drivers were learning about the affects of driving while intoxicated and using safety devices, such as seatbelts.
With all of these changes, the decrease in the number of motor vehicle fatalities was almost immediate.
Improvements in road and vehicle safety continue through today with active safety features that can help prevent accidents. For example, the Blind Spot Information System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning are all available in the Ford Fusion.
Stop by Sanderson Ford today and we’ll show you how far safety features have come in the full Ford lineup.