New National Highway Safety Chief Vows to “Save 10,000 Lives a Year” | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

Nicole Nason has been appointed the National Highway Traffic Safety Chief at a very busy time in the administration. Ms. Nason has made it her goal to decrease the number of rollovers in large vehicles, increase standards for child safety seats, and use new technologies to promote automobile safety.

Ms. Nason takes over at a time with tremendous opportunity, the Detroit News Online reports because Congress has recently laid out a huge highway safety agenda. That, in addition to booming industry technology, gives her the ability to leave a legacy of “saving 10,000 lives a year,” says Safety advocate Clarence Ditlow.

In the next 4 months, Ms. Nason will propose the agency’s rule for electronic stability control technology and report to Congress on new sonar-detection technology. Electronic stability control helps reduce rollovers in SUVs and the NHTSA is charged with proposing the industry standards, how long companies have to comply, and which vehicles the standards will apply to. The sonar technology, which is already implemented in some cars, will warn drivers that someone or something is behind them when they are backing up.

By September of 2007, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Agency plans to move their five-star rating system (which grades vehicle safety) from their safer car website  to window stickers on all new cars.