Faster Car Crash Tests May Be Needed
WASHINGTON (AP) - Automobiles would have to pass two higher-speed crash tests to be sold in the United States under rules proposed by Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater that are designed to reduce post-crash vehicle fires.
Although vehicle fires only occur in about 1 percent of crashes, 4 percent of the people killed inside a vehicle in 1998 were in a crash involving fire, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Joan Claybrook, president of consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said her group has been pushing for the higher-speed test for years. She said at today's higher speed limits rear-end collisions can puncture the back of the gas tank and easily start a fire.
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